How social services are paid bonuses to snatch babies for adoption

By SUE REID
Last updated at 23:10 31 January 2008


For a mother, there can be no greater horror than having a baby snatched away by the State at birth.
The women to whom it has happened say their lives are ruined for ever - and goodness knows what longterm effect it has on the child.
Most never recover from this trauma.
Imagine a baby growing in your body for nine months, imagine going through the emotion of bringing it into the world, only to have social workers seize the newborn, sometimes within minutes of its first cry and often on the flimsiest of excuses.
Yet this disturbing scenario is played out every day.
The number of babies under one month old being taken into care for adoption is now running at almost four a day (a 300 per cent increase over a decade).
In total, 75 children of all ages are being removed from their parents every week before being handed over to new families.
Some of these may have been willingly given up for adoption, but critics of the Government's policy are convinced that the vast majority are taken by force.
Time and again, the mothers say they are innocent of any wrongdoing.
Of course, there are people who are not fit to be parents and it is the duty of any responsible State to protect their children.
But over the five years since I began investigating the scandal of forced adoptions, I have found a deeply secretive system which is too often biased against basically decent families.
I have been told of routine dishonesty by social workers and questionable evidence given by doctors which has wrongly condemned mothers.
Meanwhile, millions of pounds of taxpayers' money has been given to councils to encourage them to meet high Government targets on child adoptions.
Under New Labour policy, Tony Blair changed targets in 2000 to raise the number of children being adopted by 50 per cent to 5,400 a year.
The annual tally has now reached almost 4,000 in England and Wales - four times higher than in France, which has a similar-sized population.
Blair promised millions of pounds to councils that achieved the targets and some have already received more than £2million each in rewards for successful adoptions.
Figures recently released by the Department for Local Government and Community Cohesion show that two councils - Essex and Kent - were offered more than £2million "bonuses" over three years to encourage additional adoptions.
Four others - Norfolk, Gloucestershire, Cheshire and Hampshire - were promised an extra £1million.
This sweeping shake-up was designed for all the right reasons: to get difficult-to-place older children in care homes allocated to new parents.
But the reforms didn't work. Encouraged by the promise of extra cash, social workers began to earmark babies and cute toddlers who were most easy to place in adoptive homes, leaving the more difficultto-place older children in care.
As a result, the number of over-sevens adopted has plummeted by half.
Critics - including family solicitors, MPs and midwives as well as the wronged families - report cases where young children are selected, even before birth, by social workers in order to win the bonuses.
More chillingly, parents have been told by social workers they must lose their children because, at some time in the future, they might abuse them.
One mother's son was adopted on the grounds that there was a chance she might shout at him when he was older.
In Scotland, where there are no official targets, adoptions are a fraction of the number south of the border, even allowing for the smaller population.
What's more, the obsessive secrecy of the system means that the public only occasionally gets an inkling of the human tragedy now unfolding across the country.
For at the heart of this adoption system are the family courts, whose hearings are conducted behind closed doors in order to protect the identity of the children involved.
Yet this secrecy threatens the centuries-old tradition of Britain's legal system - the principle that people are innocent until proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt.
From the moment a mother is first accused of being incapable as a parent - a decision nearly always made by a social worker or doctor - the system is pitted against her.
There are no juries in family courts, only a lone judge or trio of magistrates who make decisions based on the balance of probability.
Crucially, the courts' culture of secrecy means that if a social worker lies or fabricates notes or a medical expert giving evidence makes a mistake, no one finds out and there is no retribution.
Only the workings of the homeland security service, MI5, are guarded more closely than those of the family courts.
From the time a child is named on a social services care order until the day they are adopted, the parents are breaking the law - a crime punishable by imprisonment - if they tell anyone what is happening to their family.
Anything from a chat with a neighbour to a letter sent to a friend can land them in jail.
And many have found themselves sent to prison for breaching court orders by talking about their case.
As High Court judge Mr Justice Munby told MPs last year: "It seems quite indefensible that there should be no access by the media, and no access by the public, to what is going on in courts where judges are, day by day, taking people's children away."
However, it is not only secretive and publicly unscrutinised family courts that are creating an injustice in our adoption system.
There is a more worrying factor involved. Look at the official figures. Why are they so high? Is it really true that more mothers are becoming potential killers or abusers?
Or are the financial bonuses offered to councils fuelling the astonishing rise in forced adoptions?
John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP campaigning to change the adoption system, said yesterday: "I have evidence that 1,000 children are wrongly being seized from their birth parents each year even though they have not been harmed in any way.
"The targets are dangerous and lead to social workers being over-eager.
"The system's secrecy hides any wrongdoing. One has to ask if a mother is expected to have problems looking after her baby, why doesn't the State help her instead of taking her child away?"
The MP's concerns are echoed by the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS), a body which advises new mothers.
Spokeswoman Beverley Beech insists: "Babies are being removed from their mothers by social workers using any excuse.
"We strongly suspect this is because newborns and toddlers are more easily found homes than older children. They are a marketable commodity.
"I know of social workers making up stories about innocent mothers simply to ensure their babies are put up for adoption.
"Suitable babies are even being earmarked when they are still in the womb.
"One baby was forcibly removed in the maternity ward by social workers before the mother had even finished the birth process and produced the placenta."
Her words may be emotive. But are they true? Six months ago, I wrote an article about a young couple - who must remain anonymous because of family court law - fighting for the return of their three-year-old daughter.
She was taken within weeks of birth and is about to be adopted.
Astonishingly, a judge has issued a Draconian order gagging them from revealing anything, to anyone at all, which could identify their daughter until her 18th birthday in 2022.
Immediately after the article was published, I heard from 35 families whose children were forcibly removed.
The letters and e-mails continue to arrive - coming from a wide range of families across the social classes (including from a castle in the heart of England).
An e-mail from one father said: "Please, please help, NOW. We are about to lose our son . . . in court tomorrow for final disposals hearing before he is taken for adoption ... we have done nothing wrong."
Another father calling himself "James" rang to say his wife's baby was one of eight seized by social workers from hospital maternity units in one small part of North-East England during one fortnight last summer.
A Welsh man complained that his grandson of three weeks was earmarked for forcible adoption by social workers.
The mother, a 21-year-old with a mild learning disorder, was told she might, just might, get post-natal depression and neglect her son.
To her great distress, her baby was put in the care of Monmouthshire social services within minutes of birth.
The grandfather said: "Our entire extended family - which includes two nurses, a qualified nanny and a police officer - have offered to help care for the baby.
"I believe my grandson has been targeted for adoption since he was in the womb."
A Worcestershire woman told how her daughter's baby was snatched away by three police officers and two social workers who came to the door of her house.
The girl has now been adopted.
The mother's failure? She was said to be too young to cope.
Yet - a little over a year later - she had another baby, a boy, whom she was allowed to keep, in the same home and with the same partner.
Why on earth did she have to lose her little girl?
The grandmother emotionally explained: "All the family came forward to offer to help look after my granddaughter, and all of them were told they were not good enough.
"The social worker told us to forget her. He said: 'She is water under the bridge.'
"We think they wanted her for adoption from the beginning."
No wonder she, and thousands of other parents, want a shake-up of the heart-breakingly cruel adoption system which has ripped apart so many families - and which continues to do so.

Visit it

THE CASH RACKET EXPOSED !

The sad thing is that the sort of parents who really mistreat,assault,or neglect their children
rarely go to court to try and keep them ! That sort of person will usually give courts a very wide berth !
No ,the “SS” take children from nice happy law abiding families whose parents love them enough
to go through months and sometime years of debilitating court sessions.

Surely most of these caring parents should win in court?
But nearly all of them lose as the stats below prove.


In 2011, there were 32,739 children involved in disposals of public law cases, including 31,515 orders made,
792 applications withdrawn, 350 orders of no order and 72 orders refused.
-->Only 72 care orders refused out of 32,739 cases !

What chance do these poor parents have in our hopelessly prejudiced “family courts”?



JUDICIAL COURT STATISTICS (page 26)

--Read more---

Stats from BAAF:

Placements
75% (52,050) 9% (6,570) 5% (3,510) 5% (3,320) 3% (2,280) 3% (1,750) 2,630
of children looked after on 31st March 2015 were living with foster carers were living in secure units, children’s homes or hostels were placed with their parents were placed for adoption were with another placement in the community were placed in residential schools or other residential settings Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children unaccompanied asylum seeking children were looked after on 31st March 2015


The cost of residential care (dept of education)

Children Homes data pack 2014 – Gov.uk

Using the data collected and approach adopted this year we estimate that
the average cost of residential care provision per child per week is around £2,900 !!

----Read more-----


VERY COMPREHENSIVE STATISTICS
COMPILED FOR THE PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY

-->Click here

Children Homes data pack 2014 – Gov.uk

-->Click here

Child protection register statistics: England: 2011 – 2015 – nspcc

-->Click here



Explanation of stats above is that approx 5000 children go missing from care
but on average each child runs away (very often back to parents) at least 3 times
hence 17,000 reports of missing children !

--- Read more ---

'Huge rise' in newborn babies subject to care proceedings

--- Read more ---



A recent analysis found that since the Children Act 1989 referrals have increased
by 311%, from 160,000 per year to 657,800 per year, between 1991 and 2014.

---Read more---

"Follow the dollar” as they say in New York and there you will usually find the answer !
Only one in 400 care applications is refused by the courts (judicial statistics)
Ever Wonder why?:-
Thousands of worthy citizens such as,
social workers
barristers
solicitor,
court appointed experts
judges,
cafcass guardians
fosterers
directors of charities (Barnardos?)
and adoption and fostering agencies,directors and owners of special schools,and care
homes providing “secure accommodation” etc etc all make a very good living out of it all.
The more kids in care the more cash there is to be shared around!

No conspiracies necessary; just “Birds of a Feather flock together”!
(rather like our MPs fiddling their expenses)

All bureaucracies grow as fast as they are permitted to do so
and the care system is positively encouraged to expand by
its eager participants! Social workers have scorecards to show who can achieve adoptions
(mostly forced)
in the least possible time!
Fostering and adoption agencies make millions in profits
as for example the “National fostering and adoption agency”
founded by two social workers and then sold on to a highly commercial company
for $130,million +!
Since then I believe it has been resold again at a huge second profit!
Care homes,special schools and similar enterprises charge Councils three
or four times the cost of sending
Prince Harry to Eton but offer none of the facilities or expertise found at
Eton and similar schools so profits in these awful abuse ridden dumps are often
enormous! Why should local authorities seek to take more children
into care when it costs them so much money? That is a question often posed by social
workers on the defensive.
Well since when did civil servants care how much money they spend if they benefit as
individuals with high salaries, all at the taxpayers expense? Sadly the numbers of
kids in care will increase until the public concience is aroused
(as it was to abolish slavery, and later kids working in mines and up chimneys);

Stop punishment without crime, abolish gagging orders, and bring back ”free speech”
so that parents and children can say what they like to press and public and to each other without
being labelled as criminals for doing so.
This will come about some day but meanwhile children and parents needlessly suffer.
If there is no physical or sexual violence involved wouldn’t it be better spending some of this money
helping law abiding parents to keep their children at home?




Foster parents jailed for battering four-year-old

by MICHAEL SEAMARK, Daily Mail

A boy of four died after being subjected to months of cruelty by his foster parents.

Social workers did nothing to protect him even though he was often covered in cuts and bruises.



Young mum collapses and dies in court in front of devastated relatives who shout 'please save her'

JANUARY 2017



--------------Read more.-----------


"Photos,first names,and character descriptions
for potential adopters to pick and choose
much like selecting a pedigree cat or dog!
Imagine the horror of Crystal’s parents when
they saw her “advertised” for adoption in the Daily Mirror!
Her father was jailed for throwing an empty plastic cup
in the direction of the judge
when told his beloved daughter would be adopted."




--> Social Services Want This Film Banned In The UK, Why?



Fabulous ITV documentary Exposure - Please Don't Take My Child (Forced Adoption Exposed)

A mother screams in agony as her newborn baby is ripped from her arms……….




See the programme below on Channel 4 News




----- chanel 4 NEWS ----

Ian Josephs speaking at the ‘Children Screaming to be Heard’ conference, London April 2016



It was around the year 2002 that I realised that adoption without parental consent
(as it was known then) was being carried out despite opposition from parents fighting in court to keep
their children.That was in effect “forced adoption”
. I therefore created thisforced adoption site

The UK is the ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD where:-
1:- A steady stream of parents flee the country every year to avoid having their babies and young children
taken from them by the State for forced adoption. Social workers, behaving like police, take babies at birth
from mothers, not for anything they have done but for something someone with a “Crystal Ball” thinks
they might do in the future!
2:- PERHAPS THE WORST THING OF ALL :-The UK is the ONLY country in the world where Babies are taken at
birth for “RISK of emotional abuse”.
Yes it really is true as most of the mothers who phone me complain because social workers acting as though
they were police but with no authority to do so, snatch babies at birth from the hospital for this
hypothetical “RISK of emotional abuse”.
Social workers by acting in this way are claiming to read the future with neither Crystal ball or tarot
cards or even simple tealeaves!
This is I believe the ONLY example in UK law where a law abiding Citizen can be punished
in the worst possible way
(permanent loss of a child) not for something that PARENT has done but merely
because it is thought that there is a RISK!!
3:-In 2002 Tom Cruise starred in the film “Minority Report”. In the year 2054 citizens were punished for crimes
they were predicted to commit in the future ! That, believe it or not is the situation for British parents right NOW today !!

England: 2011 – 2015 NSPCC STATISTICS

Children and young people who were the subject of a Child Protection Plan (CPP)

Category of Abuse 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Neglet 18.600 18.220 17.930 20.970 22.230
Physical abuse 4,800 4,690 4,670 4,760 4,345 = 9.3% reduction since 2011 !
Sexual abuse 2,400 2,220 2,030 2,210 2,340 = 2% reduction since 2011 !
Emotional abuse 11,400 12,330 13,640 15,860 16,660 = 46% increase since 2011 !!!
Multiple 5,500 5,390 4,870 4,500 4,110
Total 42,700 42,850 43,140 48,300 49,690

So baby P caused a social workers to concentrate not on physical abuse but emotional abuse (risk of?).
Not the picture usually painted !


Once in court the urgent objective of social workers is to WIN their case
come what may as their careers can depend on it, so they produce “hired gun”
Professional psychologists/psychiatrists who regularly back them up in the family courts
by exaggerating unlikely risks from parents with so called “personality disorders” even
if parents have never harmed anyone in their lives !Everyone can have a different opinion
about such so called risks but both before and after these babies are
snatched family court judges will nearly always rubberstamp the snatching and later order
forced adoption of these little mites by strangers ! That way social workers can blame
judges for the cruelty these actions entail.


Huge rise of babies in care



---->Record numbers of UK babies taken at birth !!

The UK is the ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD WHERE:-

The family courts in nearly every town up and down the country are overloaded with
desperate parents fighting (mostly in vain) to keep their beloved children from fostering or forced adoption;
Hard to believe this happens in UK? Well every single day, dozens of babies are taken at birth following
a prediction of future risk by social workers and their “experts” .This happens despite the fact that by far
the worst risk a court can usually take is to put a child into State care as nearly half such children end up
in jail or as prostitutes !UK police have been seen in various videos telling screaming children of the 5-12
age group that they have orders from the court and have to take them away. In fact that was the excuse of the
German SS but it did not save the worst of them from the gallows ! Sometimes wicked orders must be disobeyed
and UK police should refuse to kidnap screaming reluctant children.

Even worse, not dozens but hundreds of babies are taken every year from their law abiding mothers for mere future
risk,(usually from verbally abusive partners, often long departed or in jail !) and handed over for expensive fostercare
or forced adoption in the UK!


Too many children taken into care??
At a recent packed public debate at Bristol’s main family court, two of the country’s most senior children’s
social care professionals said “YES”!. “The number of children in public care is, I would contend, a national
disgrace,” said Dave Hill, president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS).

They were especially exercised by what they saw as a postcode lottery. “You can go to many parts of the UK and find
local authorities where children who have experienced significant harm are being kept within their families or in their
local networks, quite safely, with strong, targeted family support or early help services,” added Anthony Douglas,
chief executive of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) – while elsewhere, children
suffering equivalent chaos are being taken straight into care.
According to Hugh Thornbery, chief executive of the leading adoption charity Adoption UK, 25 per cent of adoptive
families are what he calls, quite simply, ‘in crisis’, with the mental and physical health of the those families at serious risk.

--->Read more.

And what about the children themselves?!

Well, when children of school age are taken into care they are gagged and usually are not allowed to testify in court that
they want to return home even when begging to do so. Laptops and mobiles are confiscated to isolate them from family and friends.
At parents’ contact visits children in care are not allowed to discuss their cases, say they want to go home, complain of sexual
or physical abuse by fosterers or social workers or even speak their own language if they are foreign. If they do any of these
things contact is stopped.Murderers and rapists in prison are treated much better than those children as convicts are allowed to
phone out and speak to their visitors about anything they like in any language they choose.
Read more --->
If a single mum (for example) is told by a neighbour “a social worker called on you while you were out” the reaction would not be
“what a pity I missed her” but would almost certainly be “My God they are after my children !” All this is why social workers are
the most hated profession in the country !

Maggie Mellon, British Association of Social workers; Vice Chair says:-
“I believe that suspicion of parents and of families has become corrosive, and is distorting the values of our profession.
For the last 20 plus years the number of investigations or assessments into families suspected of
child abuse has climbed steadily upwards and now accounts for one in 20 families in England and Wales !!!

A recent analysis found that since the Children Act 1989 referrals have increased by 311%, from 160,000 per
year to 657,800 per year, between 1991 and 2014.

Assessments have increased by 302% over the same period, from 120,000 to 483,800, while the number of cases
of ‘core abuse’ have fallen. The figures show that the ratio of referrals to registrations have fallen year on
year from 24.1% to 7.3%.
Child protection dominates work.


These assessments will have been carried out mainly by social workers. For social workers in statutory children
and family teams there is no doubt that ‘child protection’ dominates every aspect of their work. Despite there being
no significant rise in the number of children who die as a result of parental abuse or neglect, risk of abuse is assumed to be high.
What does this say about how social workers view parents and families? And, just as importantly, what must it tell us
about how parents view contact with social services? I believe that the evidence is mounting of mutual distrust and fear.

“The policy imperative towards more and quicker forced adoption means we may well look back at this period in
horror as we do now to the forcible removal of thousands of children to Australia in the 1930s, forties and fifties without their parents’
knowledge and consent. That was done because it was felt it was the right thing but now we think how on earth could
we possibly have done that ….”
Dave Hill, 57, the new president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), used his inaugural speech
last month to demand a debate about the limits of state interference in family life, saying plainly that “we
intervene too often and sometimes too readily”.
---> Read more.


Parents had week-old baby taken away by social services after father heard 'praising benefits of formula milk'

Council ordered to pay £11,250 after removing week-old baby over father’s ‘unorthodox views’ about benefits of formula milk.


My question to the child snatchers
in the pre-birth case conference of Willow Eve Roberts.



FORCED ADOPTION EXPOSED ~ EU Parliament March 2014 Sabine K McNeil.




forced adoption

forced adoption

Cash prize for council that hit adoption targets

Cash prize for council that hit adoption targets
By Ben Leapman, Home Affairs Correspondent
12:01AM BST 13 Apr 2008


A council has admitted receiving Government money under a controversial "adoption target" scheme that rewards the removal of children from their parents.
Hammersmith and Fulham council, in west London, was paid £500,000 as a reward for placing more than 100 children for adoption in three years. The council is the first to acknowledge publicly a payout under the target scheme. It said that its social workers had "pulled out all the stops" and "cut down on the amount of bureaucracy" to boost the numbers.

They exceeded their goal of 101 adoptions, securing 106 by this month's deadline. In almost every case, the birth parents fought to keep their children but were defeated in the family courts.
A spokesman for the Tory-controlled council said: "Nearly all of these children were adopted compulsorily through the courts. In each of these cases the courts decided that adoption was the right thing for the child."

The councillor in charge of the campaign, Antony Lillis, said that the children had had the "least promising" start in life, and were more likely to "go on to achieve economic well-being" with their new adoptive parents.
Campaigners said that some babies might have been taken unnecessarily from birth parents of limited means. John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat MP and chairman of Justice for Families, said: "I am concerned that Hammersmith and Fulham may have removed children to hit its target."

The council announced its success in a press release headed "Adoption target met". Its disclosure appeared to contradict the claims of Kevin Brennan, the children's minister, who seemed to deny the existence of adoption targets when he said earlier this year: "The only national adoption targets, which ended in 2006, were on the number of adoptions of children who were already in care and waiting to be placed for adoption, and on the speeding up of this. There was never a financial incentive for local authorities to meet these national targets."
Mr Hemming said: "These comments by Hammersmith and Fulham blow the Government's claims out of the water. The Government said there were no numerical targets, but this council says there were. The Government said nobody would be rewarded for hitting the targets, but this council says it has been."
The first nationwide adoption targets were set in 2000, with the aim of cutting the time that children spent in foster care or children's homes - which are unsettling for children and expensive for taxpayers - before being found permanent homes.

However, critics claim that targets for councils, backed by cash rewards that have totalled at least £36?million, give social workers a perverse incentive to remove more babies from their parents, rather than find homes for older children already in their care. The Government responded by scrapping the targets from this month, so the payout to Hammersmith and Fulham will be one of the last.
The Sunday Telegraph, in its "Stop the Secrecy" campaign, has reported cases where babies have been removed from their devastated parents at birth, following family court sessions held in private with the threat of prison for families who speak out. Campaigners claim to have identified more than 100 possible miscarriages of justice.
Sometimes pregnant women are identified for forced adoption because they are drug addicts or have neglected previous children. In other cases, social workers cite mental health problems in the woman's past, or concerns about their likely skill as a parent. Babies removed at birth tend to spend a year or two in foster care before adoption, which is permanent and irreversible.

The number of newborn children taken into care has almost trebled in a decade, reaching 1,400 in 2005/6, A Hammer­smith and Fulham spokesman said of the 101 target: " At the time, the council felt that the bar was set too high, as in the previous three-year period only 71 children had been adopted.
"H&F's adoption team swung into action and pulled out all the stops in order to meet the target. In part, this was made possible by the adoption team linking up with the council's legal department and cutting down on the amount of bureaucracy that prospective adopters had to deal with."
Mr Lillis said: "There is absolutely no relationship whatsoever between Government targets and the removal of children, and it is impossible for this or any other local authority to inappropriately have children adopted to meet targets."

Cash prize for council that hit adoption targets


forced adoption

Children's Services £1.5m over budget as more youngsters taken into care Harry Hogger, Dorchester reporter / Monday 26 January 2015 / News

Councillors have been told that Dorset County Council’s children’s services department is £1.5million over budget.
Members of the council’s children’s services overview committee were informed of the projected overspend for the current financial year and were also warned of a budget gap of £2.4m for the coming year.
Group finance manager for children’s services Sian Dobson said that the overspend was largely due to the increased number of children coming into care, whilst the transport for children budget was also overspent by £426,000.
Last year the Echo reported on how the number of children in care had increased from 276 in 2010 to 347.
Mrs Dobson said that in the case of the children’s transport budget there had not been an increase in numbers, rather the ‘complexity’ of the cases it was encountering that had led to the rising costs.
Cllr Darryl Turner, pictured left, said in areas such as transport of children with special educational needs the authority had little choice but to bear the increased costs.
He said: “I think we have done an extremely good job with what we have and we can only look at the increased numbers and increased costs and accept them at the moment.” Promoted stories

The council’s head of learning and inclusion Phil Minns said that the issue of children’s transport was something that would be picked up as part of the authority’s holistic transport review.
The current budget position is also a considerable improvement on the situation in August last year, when the directorate faced a project overspend of £2.5m.
At the meeting councillors were also told action is being taken to address concerns raised about the council’s provision for children in care.

A report last year highlighted concerns over the growing pressure on DCC’s children’s services in light of increasing numbers of children coming into care and the budgets required.
As a result an action plan was drawn up and an update report provided to members stated that a number of the areas identified had been addressed. However, head of family support Vanessa Glenn told members that there were still areas that needed attention. These included the development of a care and support model, strengthened budget monitoring arrangements and identifying staff to undertake a strategic review and commissioning of placements.
When a councillor suggested it could take as much as 15 years for the impact of the work currently undertaken to have its full effect, Mrs Glenn responded: “I don’t think we can wait 15 years, I think we have got to turn it this around much quicker.”
Director for children’s services Sara Tough assured members they would be regularly updated as to how the progress that was being made against the action plan.

Children's Services £1.5m over budget as more youngsters taken into care



forced adoption

Legal aid lawyer, secret court and social workers ‘colluded’ to adopt boys

TWO YOUNG children were taken from their distraught mother and placed for adoption because her own legal aid lawyers “colluded” with social workers, according to an MP’s extraordinary allegation in Parliament. By Ted Jeory

In a highly unusual accusation, John Hemming said lawyers for Jacque Courtnage colluded with Derbyshire County Council to prevent her analysing a document he believes would have cleared her of abuse allegations.
She and her husband have lost their two sons, now aged six and eight, for ever after a court ruled on the balance of probabilities they were responsible for harming their youngest when he was a baby.
They have never been arrested nor charged with any criminal offence due to lack of evidence.
Their heartbreaking story emerged in a Commons debate two months ago when Mr Hemming used Parliamentary privilege to name the mother and to make accusations against her lawyers and Derbyshire County Council.

He says the parents are the victims of a miscarriage of justice in the secret family court system.
The Lib Dem MP believes lawyers representing families on legal aid have a conflict of interest if they also do work for local authorities.
Mrs Courtnage, a 45-year-old accountant and her husband John, 47, an engineer, only discovered the potentially significant evidence nine months after a judge ruled their children should be taken from them.
They found it among their son’s medical records, which they secured after making a request to his hospital under the Data Protection Act as part of their own probe to discover the “truth”.
The evidence was an alternative diagnosis from a leading hospital consultant saying their son’s head injury had been caused by a fissure, a birth defect that weakened the skull bone.
Until then, Mr Hemming said, they had only been aware of the fracture diagnosis put forward by other experts and used by the council in its arguments before the court.
The children are now with an adoptive family and banned from any contact with their real parents.
Mrs Courtnage, who is not allowed to talk to the media about her case, told Mr Hemming: “Our children are our very existence and without them with us and being unable to touch them is like a living hell. Just talking about our boys reduces us to tears.
“The saying of a living bereavement is very apt and one we live daily. We have no grave to mourn at.”

She also told the MP about an incident when she was sitting in her car at traffic lights. “I was watching a little boy of around five years old waiting with his mum at the bus stop.
“He was bored and was trying to entertain her with his amusing antics.
He looked over to me and smiled and it was then that I realised that I had tears streaming down my face. I would never experience this with my own sons.
“We are angry at what has been done to us but words cannot begin to describe the contempt we have for what this has done to our darling sons.”
The couple’s “living hell” started in 2008 when Mrs Courtnage became concerned by a swelling on her baby boy’s head. She took him to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham where medics debated the X-ray results.
While two consultants made separate diagnoses of a fissure, others argued a fracture, a conclusion eventually accepted as the official version.

The diagnoses, together with evidence suggesting leg injuries to the child, were sent to Derbyshire County Council which then gave them to Mrs Courtnage’s lawyer.
However, Mr Hemming said the fissure argument was never highlighted to Mrs Courtnage and she did not see it among the 500 other documents in the large court bundles.
He told the Commons in September: “I have for some time been worried about what I was told by a social worker some years ago, which is that at times the legal aid-funded solicitors for parents conspire with local authority staff in order to ensure that the parents lose.
“One example where that appears to have happened is that of Jacque and John Courtnage, whose two sons were taken into care because one had a lump on his head.
The doctors were not sure whether it was because of a fracture or a fissure.
“The child was neurologically sound, which implies a fissure, but the parents did not see the evidence that it could have been a fissure until after the court had decided in 2010 that it was a fracture, and the question was never considered in any court judgment.
“A court order on October 30, 2008, had said that all evidence should be provided to the parents. That did not happen.
“The hospital provided Derbyshire County Council with the information in December 2008 but this did not get to the parents until after the finding of fact hearing of 2010, when they made a subject access request.
“The question is whether the council colluded with the parents’ solicitors.”


The MP said in the debate that he and Mrs Courtnage had asked the solicitors about the issue. He said a solicitor had denied the allegation but refused to give a “detailed response”.
He said in the Commons that, to him, meant the lawyers “colluded with Derbyshire County Council to keep this evidence from the parents”.
Mrs Courtnage tried to raise the fissure diagnosis before an appeal judge in September 2011.
However, due to an administrative mistake by court officials, the case was heard in her absence and the potentially vital pieces of paper were never presented to the judge.
She has recently decided to try to reopen the appeal under civil procedure rules.
A spokesman for Derbyshire County Council said: “We would strenuously reject any suggestion of collusion.

“The judge had before him all the child’s medical records including all those received from the Queen’s Medical Centre and the issue as to whether the child had a fissure or a fracture was fully brought before the court.
“The court had evidence from experts including a consultant paediatric radiologist and consultant neuroradiologist.
These experts were appointed independently by the solicitor acting on behalf of the child.
The child also had the benefit of a children’s guardian appointed by the court to represent his best interests.
“We are confident that the actions we took were the right ones and that the decision taken by the court was the right one.”

TWO YOUNG children were taken from their distraught mother and placed for adoption because her own legal aid lawyers “colluded” with social workers, according to an MP’s extraordinary allegation in Parliament.


'It must never happen again': Appeal judge slams 'cut and paste' decision in family court which led to social workers taking baby from parents unjustly

Judges and social workers have been conspiring to remove children unjustly from their parents, scathing High Court ruling said today
Condemned family court judges for 'clandestine arrangement' in which they rubber-stamped the demands of social workers without fair hearing


Judges and social workers have been conspiring to remove children unjustly from their parents, a scathing High Court ruling said today.
It condemned family court judges for a ‘clandestine arrangement’ which meant that they simply rubber-stamped the demands of social workers without giving a fair hearing to the pleas of parents.
Rulings by family judges were ‘cut and pasted’ from recommendations emailed to the court by social workers, the High Court found.

The secret dealings between council officials and local judges were revealed in a High Court appeal in which Mrs Justice Pauffley ordered that a mother be re-united with her baby.
The baby was taken by social workers following a court case described by Mrs Justice Pauffley as ‘profoundly alarming’.
The High Court judge warned that ‘the practices I have described are not confined to this area but are widespread across the country'.
She said of the case, which involved judges at an unnamed family court and social workers employed by an unnamed council: ‘It is difficult to view the justices as having been independent and impartial if, as happened here, they simply adopted the local authority’s analysis of what their findings and reasons might comprise.

‘Just because there may be tacit acceptance on the part of many professionals within the family justice system that the practice which operated here exists, that does not mean it is right.
‘It is patently wrong, must stop at once and never happen again.’

The order to end collusion between judges and social workers was endorsed yesterday by the most senior family judge, President of the Family Division Sir James Munby.
In a circular to lawyers, Sir James warned all judges and lawyers to ‘carefully consider’ the case and added that Mrs Justice Pauffley ‘had to deal with circumstances which I hope will never recur.’ The scandal over secret deals between judges and social workers is the latest upheaval in a year of growing controversy over the family courts, the closely-associated Court of Protection, and the way the public has been routinely prevented from knowing what goes on in them.
Last year the Daily Mail revealed that a judge at the Court of Protection had sent a woman to jail in secret after she refused to stop trying to remove her father from a care home where she believed his life was in danger. All information about the imprisonment of Wanda Maddocks was banned from publication until the Mail investigated the case.
In December the Court of Protection was discovered to have ordered behind closed doors that a pregnant Italian woman must undergo a compulsory caesarean operation. The mother, Alessandra Pacchieri, was later told by a family court judge, again in secret, that her baby would be taken for adoption in Essex.

The order to end collusion between judges and social workers was endorsed yesterday by the most senior family judge, President of the Family Division Sir James Munby
The secrecy surrounding the two court systems is now being loosened on the instructions of Sir James, who has acted to prevent both clandestine imprisonment and the removal of children from foreign mothers by British judges.
The exposure of private arrangements between family judges and social workers was exposed following an appeal by a mother whose child was taken into care.
The 32-year-old mother, a longstanding drug and drink abuser with a history of domestic violence, had had seven previous children. Six are living with their two fathers and one is in the process of being adopted. When she became pregnant again, she was given a place in a unit run by a specialist family drugs and alcohol service.
Mrs Justice Pauffley said it was ‘plain’ that social workers took a decision in advance to remove her baby, who was born in October last year. They cited the mother’s bleak history.

Family judges first heard the case on 1 November. They were presented with an expert report on the mother, commissioned by social workers and prepared by chartered clinical psychologist Dr Celest Van Rooyen. The psychologist, who also gave ‘very strong and powerful’ evidence in person, said the baby was at risk of harm.

forced adoption

The judges declared that ‘the immediate risk of harm is such that his safety requires the continuing removal from his mother’s care. It is proportionate and in his best interests.’ At a second hearing a week later, the same judges said the baby should stay with foster parents because ‘he needs to form an attachment with his primary carers.’ Mrs Justice Pauffley criticised the handling of the case in blunt and uncompromising language.
She said the Van Rooyen report on the mother had been researched and written in a day and the psychologist had spoken neither to the mother nor the medical and psychological experts with whom she and the baby were living. Instead, Dr Van Rooyen had relied on documents and a phone call to a social worker.

Mrs Justice Pauffley said: ‘It surprises and alarms me that Dr Van Rooyen was asked, and was prepared, to provide a report during the course of a single working day, a terrifyingly tight timeframe, and on the basis of papers supplemented by a telephone conversation with a local authority professional who had never met the mother.
‘I struggle to understand how Dr Van Rooyen’s apparently firm opinions, adverse to the mother, could have been formed given the complete absence of any kind of discussion with her.’ The High court judge said the family court judges had not written their own ‘findings of fact and reasons’ - their ruling in the case. The entire document had instead been emailed to them by lawyers for the local council before the 1 November hearing.
John Hemming, the Lib Dem MP who has campaigned against secrecy in the family courts, said: 'I am pleased that the senior judges are acting to stop stitch ups and "clandestine" fixing of decisions in the lower courts'

A near-identical document was drawn up by the judges after the second hearing. Mrs Justice Pauffley said this was ‘the result, almost certainly of cutting and pasting.’ Mrs Justice Pauffley said this practice ‘has become the norm’ in local family courts.
She said she was ‘profoundly alarmed’ at the practice, which was widespread.

‘There was, apparently, an established but largely clandestine arrangement between the local authority and the court which, to my mind, has considerable repercussions for justice.’ Mrs Justice Pauffley added: ‘In public law proceedings the local authority is the applicant. It is not and should never be seen as the decision maker. That is the role of the court.
‘There is no room for confusion. Justice must be upheld. There is no scope for dilution of that fundamental concept.’
John Hemming, the Lib Dem MP who has campaigned against secrecy in the family courts, said: ‘I am pleased that the senior judges are acting to stop stitch ups and “clandestine” fixing of decisions in the lower courts.
‘What really matters, however, is getting independent evidence into the process rather than the opinion of local authority employees who are instructed in what to say by their management, who are instructed by government as to what outcomes they want.’

Appeal judge slams 'cut and paste' decision in family court which led to social workers taking baby from parents unjustly


Blood-chilling scandal of the thousands of babies stolen by the State: TV agony aunt DENISE ROBERTSON writes about her lengthy investigation

forced adoption

Agony aunt reveals the 'rotten' side of the adoption system in Britain
Shares stories of parents who have had their children forcibly removed
Received 450 letters last year from desperate families who were affected
Her book is dedicated to the Websters who had three kids taken from them


The woman’s face was pale and tear-stained; her eyes raw from crying. ‘Please may I speak to Denise?’ she begged my husband. Fired by desperation, she’d found my home and rung my doorbell one evening six years ago. I was her last hope, she said.
As a magazine and TV agony aunt with a regular slot on ITV’s This Morning, my job is to give constructive and compassionate advice to those who seek it. I take my role — and the responsibility it involves — very seriously.
So although I usually make it a rule not to see people in my home, this time the woman’s distress was so acute that I invited her in.
Magazine and TV agony aunt Denise Robertson has written a a novel, Don’t Cry Aloud, a lightly fictionalised account of the real stories of the 'national scandal' of forced adoption she has uncovered over the years
Magazine and TV agony aunt Denise Robertson has written a a novel, Don’t Cry Aloud, a lightly fictionalised account of the real stories of the 'national scandal' of forced adoption she has uncovered over the years
Her story spilled out. She was a grandmother in her late 40s, whose daughter, single and unable to cope with the responsibilities of parenthood, had nonetheless given birth to four children.

Each had been raised with love, kindness and singular devotion by the woman standing in front of me: their grandmother. They were all under nine and the youngest was 18 months old. The woman was distraught because she had been told that her youngest grandchild, a cherubic, blue-eyed blonde, was to be taken from her.
She had cared for her since birth, and had applied for a guardianship order for all of the children. But she’d been told that one child was to be wrenched from her by social services and forcibly adopted by strangers. Her three older grandchildren, meanwhile, would remain with her.
What perverse and arbitrary logic was driving this reasoning? Why should she be permitted to raise three grandchildren, but not the fourth?
As I listened to her story, I could find no sense in it: she was either a fit parent, or she wasn’t. I resolved to try to help her. But my efforts proved fruitless.
Nothing I could do would stop the process: the machinery of the law ground on remorselessly, and the little girl was adopted. A toddler was ripped from the family who adored her and dispatched to a new life with strangers. I can only hope that they were kind.
For I know with awful certainty that the child would have been bewildered and frightened as she said her last goodbye to her family.

And I know, too, that not a day has passed when her grandmother hasn’t thought of her with yearning and hope that, one day, they will be reunited.
This sad case epitomises much that is rotten about the adoption system in our country — a country that purports to be humane and civilised — and it chills my blood. But the terrifying fact is, it’s far from isolated. Denise has dedicated her book to Nicky Webster, pictured here with son Brandon, and her husband Mark, a 'decent and blameless' couples whose three children were taken and forcibly adopted in 2005
Denise has dedicated her book to Nicky Webster, pictured here with son Brandon, and her husband Mark, a 'decent and blameless' couples whose three children were taken and forcibly adopted in 2005
In fact, last year I received 450 letters and emails from desperate families begging for help after their children or grandchildren had been forcibly taken from them by the family courts.
The majority were subject to gagging orders and risked prison sentences by talking to me. Such restrictions imposed by the courts, ostensibly in the interests of the children, effectively silence discussion about questionable adoption procedures.

However, I believe forced adoption is a national scandal that must be exposed. To this end, I have written a novel, Don’t Cry Aloud, a lightly fictionalised account of the real stories I encounter every day.
I dedicate it to Nicky and Mark Webster, a decent and blameless couple who appealed to me for help when their three older children were taken and forcibly adopted in 2005. I’ve written it in the hope that it will provoke a reaction; that it will make people care.
The Websters’ case, also taken up by this newspaper, proved how innocent people can become helplessly embroiled in an escalating nightmare. It began when Nicky took one of her children to hospital with a viral infection.
Doctors discovered a fracture in his ankle and, within two days — on the false assumption that the little boy had been hit — all three of the couple’s children were taken into care.

When I met the Websters, I knew they were incapable of harming their children. I asked a solicitor who had helped me fight for justice in similar cases to take up theirs. He, too, was powerless. ‘As fast as I amass evidence in their defence, social services push the adoption proceedings forward,’ he told me.
It took four years for the courts to find the Websters innocent of any wrongdoing. It emerged that their son, after feeding problems, had been put on a soya milk diet, which had led to a rare nutritional deficiency that caused his bones to fracture easily. By then, however, the courts had also decreed that it was too late to overturn the adoption orders imposed on the Websters’ children: they were not returned to their parents.
However, before the judgment exonerated them, I campaigned on their behalf to ensure that their two subsequent children remained in their care. It was a small victory, and I had hoped it would prove salutary.
Nicky and Mark Webster with son Brandon. After doctors became suspicious of the parents, believing they were abusing their kids three of their children were forcibly removed and taken in social services
Nicky and Mark Webster with son Brandon. After doctors became suspicious of the parents, believing they were abusing their kids three of their children were forcibly removed and taken in social services
But, since then, the national scandal has only escalated. Every year, around 10,000 children are removed from their families against their will, many of whom have committed no crime and are not dependent on drugs or alcohol. Last year, 5,206 children were adopted — many of them forcibly.
It is impossible to overstate the trauma of such separations on those children who come from loving homes. As a mother, aged 82, twice widowed and having lost an adult son to cancer, I liken forced adoption to bereavement. I mourn the son I lost every day.
But when a child dies, there is no wondering. Is he or she happy or sad? Troubled or thriving? A child who is forcibly adopted is both living and lost. To be denied all knowledge of them is sheer torture for the family left behind.
For too long, we have ignored the truth that perfectly good, decent and loving parents are being denied an inalienable right: to love and raise their own children
So what is going on? In my 40 years as an agony aunt, I’ve learnt much about the ways in which governments collude with social services departments to meet adoption targets.
Adoptions have certainly increased. In 1995, the number of under-fives adopted in England was 560. By 2012, the number had quadrupled — of these, 1,100 were described as ‘consent dispensed with’: in other words, forcible adoptions.
One social services department, it was widely reported, received £27,000 every time it placed a child with adoptive parents (possibly to cover the costs of the process).
Fostering, meanwhile, costs them £2,000 per child and also incurs huge long-term expenditure — foster parents are paid up to £900 a week to look after the most challenging children.
I know, too, that some children — notably sweet-faced babies — are much more adoptable than others, and it is the winsome who are cherry-picked. Meanwhile, the difficult to adopt — those who are older, less pretty or who have behavioural issues or disabilities — are often either left to languish in children’s homes or permitted to remain with their parents.
I was told in a letter about a single mother with five children: three freckled redheads and two angelic blondes. Which of the five were peremptorily taken from her? It was, I was informed, the photogenic pair with the blonde hair and the winning smiles. If the story is true — and I have only the letter writer’s assurance that it is — I find the sheer cynicism of the rationale behind the decisions both chilling and terrifying.
Denise Robertson says she received a letter from a single mother saying her two blond children were taken from her in an action she describe s as 'both chilling and terrifying'
Denise Robertson says she received a letter from a single mother saying her two blond children were taken from her in an action she describe s as 'both chilling and terrifying' (stock image right)
I know, of course, I will be reviled by some for speaking so openly about this palpable abuse of their powers by social services departments up and down the country.
I recognise, equally, that there are social workers — those who do sterling work in the face of mounting pressures — who are as appalled by these travesties of justice as I am, and equally impotent to resist them.
I’m aware of this because they write to tell me so. They ask for time to make considered decisions, but, all too frequently, this is denied them because the pressure to secure an adoption is so intense.
And I also realise that vulnerable children must be protected from abusive parents and removed to places of safety. But for too long, we have ignored the truth that perfectly good, decent and loving parents are being denied an inalienable right: to love and raise their own children.
Meanwhile, the blameless adoptive parents who become embroiled in this scandal are unwittingly taking on children who are — in my view — stolen goods.
Every child who is stolen unjustly from a birth parent and forcibly adopted is the victim of the most grotesque abuse
The proceedings of the whole family court system, shrouded as they are in secrecy, have in many cases become accountable to no one. Families are offered lists of solicitors, approved by social services, so how independent are they? ‘Expert’ witnesses, too, appear to be rarely impartial.
Commissioned by the Family Justice Council, Professor Jane Ireland researched reports submitted to the family courts by child psychologists.
She found most of them were written by ‘professional experts’ — some not even qualified — who make up to £4,000 from each report. One so-called expert claimed he wrote 200 reports a year. The sums involved are boggling. Often, the ‘experts’ are merely corroborating the findings of social workers — themselves sometimes young, inexperienced and inadequately briefed — most of whom are employed by the very local authorities who stand to gain so much from the adoptions.
It is an exercise in rubber-stamping: parents and grandparents are utterly powerless in the face of it, unless they are fortunate enough to have a crusading solicitor who will fight to the death for them.
One independent social worker — who left a social services department because she was so appalled by its culture — told me she had often seen children removed from their families on the basis of incomplete, inadequate and sometimes inaccurate evidence.
Yet parents have faith in this deeply flawed system. They believe justice will prevail, the truth will out and their children will be restored to them. But their trust is misplaced.
Agony aunt Denise Robertson with her niece, schoolteacher Gillian Barnard. She says: 'Every child who is stolen unjustly from a birth parent and forcibly adopted is the victim of the most grotesque abuse'


forced adoption

Agony aunt Denise Robertson with her niece, schoolteacher Gillian Barnard. She says: 'Every child who is stolen unjustly from a birth parent and forcibly adopted is the victim of the most grotesque abuse'
These parents are neither inadequate nor unintelligent. I remember having lunch with a fellow professional who said, glibly: ‘But of course things like this wouldn’t happen to you and me because we’re articulate enough to defend ourselves against injustice.’
I had to tell him he was completely wrong. For professional people are every bit as likely to have their children taken away.

And yet we persist in giving credence to the myth that there’s no smoke without fire; that all those parents whose children are removed from them must, in some way, be culpable.
The tragedy is that so many are not guilty — rather, they are victims of a deeply and iniquitously flawed system. And at the centre of every one of these personal tragedies is a child. I have heard desperately sad stories of siblings who have not been allowed to go to the same adoptive parents.
I’m now sceptical enough to question whether there are bonuses to local authorities if they are separated — though I don’t know if that’s true — and the effect on them is utterly heart-breaking.
Every child who is stolen unjustly from a birth parent and forcibly adopted is the victim of the most grotesque abuse.
Nicky Webster told me that the last time she saw her three older children, one asked: ‘Mummy, have we done something naughty? Is that why we can’t come home?’
Removing a child from its parents is a momentous decision: the ultimate act of responsibility. Those charged with it must exercise it with wisdom, diligence and integrity. And if they fail to do so, they are guilty of the most heinous and unforgivable betrayal.

I cannot bear to imagine what thoughts went through that poor child’s mind — and through those of countless others forced to say a last goodbye to the families who love them. Even now, it moves me to tears.
The lead-up to those final farewells is harrowing. Families — birth mothers, grandparents, siblings — often drive miles to be given 90-minute, heavily supervised access visits to their bewildered children in contact centres. Their every move is monitored and, if they cry — and who could fail to do so? — their tears are considered to be ‘emotional abuse’ of the child and the visit is curtailed. So they steel themselves to be brave. They don’t cry aloud. Instead, they cry inside until the emotion overwhelms them.
They must not question the all-powerful authorities either or, heaven forbid, dare to be angry or aggrieved. If they do so, they will be deemed troublemakers, and the scant access visits they have will be stopped.
So they say their goodbyes. They write final, heart-rending, valedictory letters. And they live in hope: that, one day, when their child or children are adults, they will, like homing pigeons, fly back to them.

How can our society condone such scandalous cruelty? The system that allows it must be reformed. There are sparks of hope and light, and we must not allow them to be extinguished.
Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales, is one such beacon. He has commented that, since the death penalty ended, family court judges make the most drastic orders any court can impose.
‘When a family judge makes a placement order or adoption order in relation to a 20-year-old mother’s baby, the mother will have to live with the consequences of that decision for what may be upwards of 60 or even 70 years, and the baby for what may be upwards of 80 or even 90 years,’ he said.
Removing a child from its parents is a momentous decision: the ultimate act of responsibility. Those charged with it must exercise it with wisdom, diligence and integrity. And if they fail to do so, they are guilty of the most heinous and unforgivable betrayal.

Blood-chilling scandal of the thousands of babies stolen by the State: TV agony aunt DENISE ROBERTSON writes about her lengthy investigation


'Children Screaming to be Heard' founder Maggie Tuttle & Belinda McKenzie speak out for the children




telegraph

Why the explosion in child-snatching is big business.

When fostering excites venture capitalists, the number of children taken into care rises. By Christopher Booker 4:12PM BST 07 Jun 2014 A Norfolk reader sends me photographs of an advertisement placed on the back of local buses by Norfolk and Suffolk county councils. “New challenge,” it reads. “Have you thought of fostering? If so you can earn £590 a week.”
Two things are interesting about this, one general, one specific. For a start, it shows what mind-boggling sums are now available to councils whose social workers take children into care. I have quoted before advertisements offering foster carers £400 a week for each child. But £590 a week means that a foster home looking after three children taken from their parents, which is not uncommon, can now earn almost £100,000 a year. In addition are the lavish fees charged by fostering agencies to make the arrangements, almost invariably run by ex-social workers.

Most people have no idea what a big business fostering has become. When one such firm, National Fostering Agency, representing 175 local authorities after being launched by two ex-social workers in 1995, was placed on the market by Rothschilds in 2012, it was sold by its “venture capital” owners Sovereign to a “private equity” firm, Graphite Capital, for a staggering £130 million.
The more specific point, however, is that, of all the councils that feature in my files as seizing children from their parents for what seem like questionable reasons, Norfolk and Suffolk are high on the list. In one of the most controversial cases I have reported, it was Norfolk’s social workers who were eventually forced to hand back a baby to its parents, after they had twice travelled to France to take the child into foster care in England. Having been thwarted in their plans, when a judge ruled that they had no legal right to do so, they seized several more children from different members of the same family who, to justify their removal, now face many charges of criminal abuse.
Yet last year the children’s department of this same council, Norfolk, received the most damning report possible from Ofsted, failing it as “inadequate” (the lowest rating) on every one of the five counts on which social workers are judged, from “quality of provision” to “leadership and management”.
Our children’s minister, Edward Timpson, may last week have launched yet another initiative to speed up the rate at which children are adopted. But even he only mentions 6,000 children waiting for adoption, compared with the record 68,000 currently in care in England and Wales alone.
It is hardly surprising, when fostering has excited the interest of venture capitalists as one of the most lucrative industries in the country, that the number of children social workers take from their parents into care has, in the past five years, well over doubled, to 28,000 a year.
What then happens to too many of these children in “care” is just another part of this very disturbing picture.

Child-snatching is big business

forced adoption


The New SS: UK Lawyers, Judges and Social Workers Colluding to Steal Children

child snatchers

By thecolemanexperience November 11, 2013

Time and time again we hear tell of children being snatched from loving parents by despicable social workers, desperate to meet targets and make bonuses, and thrown into the corrupt and secretive world of the UK’s family courts system.

One of the few MP’s brave enough and caring enough to highlight these cases is Birmingham MP, John Hemming, who recently broke parliamentary convention by naming and shaming Derbyshire Council who colluded with lawyers and the courts to snatch two young children on misleading evidence.
The Express reports on the shocking story:
” TWO YOUNG children were taken from their distraught mother and placed for adoption because her own legal aid lawyers “colluded” with social workers, according to an MP’s extraordinary allegation in Parliament”
” In a highly unusual accusation, John Hemming said lawyers for Jacque Courtnage colluded with Derbyshire County Council to prevent her analysing a document he believes would have cleared her of abuse allegations. She and her husband have lost their two sons, now aged six and eight, for ever after a court ruled on the balance of probabilities they were responsible for harming their youngest when he was a baby.

They have never been arrested nor charged with any criminal offence due to lack of evidence.
Their heartbreaking story emerged in a Commons debate two months ago when Mr Hemming used Parliamentary privilege to name the mother and to make accusations against her lawyers and Derbyshire County Council.
He says the parents are the victims of a miscarriage of justice in the secret family court system.

The Lib Dem MP believes lawyers representing families on legal aid have a conflict of interest if they also do work for local authorities.
Mrs Courtnage, a 45-year-old accountant and her husband John, 47, an engineer, only discovered the potentially significant evidence nine months after a judge ruled their children should be taken from them.
They found it among their son’s medical records, which they secured after making a request to his hospital under the Data Protection Act as part of their own probe to discover the “truth”.
The evidence was an alternative diagnosis from a leading hospital consultant saying their son’s head injury had been caused by a fissure, a birth defect that weakened the skull bone.

Until then, Mr Hemming said, they had only been aware of the fracture diagnosis put forward by other experts and used by the council in its arguments before the court.
The children are now with an adoptive family and banned from any contact with their real parents.
Mrs Courtnage, who is not allowed to talk to the media about her case, told Mr Hemming: “Our children are our very existence and without them with us and being unable to touch them is like a living hell. Just talking about our boys reduces us to tears.
“The saying of a living bereavement is very apt and one we live daily. We have no grave to mourn at.”
“We are angry at what has been done to us but words cannot begin to describe the contempt we have for what this has done to our darling sons.”

The couple’s “living hell” started in 2008 when Mrs Courtnage became concerned by a swelling on her baby boy’s head. She took him to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham where medics debated the X-ray results. While two consultants made separate diagnoses of a fissure, others argued a fracture, a conclusion eventually accepted as the official version.
The diagnoses, together with evidence suggesting leg injuries to the child, were sent to Derbyshire County Council which then gave them to Mrs Courtnage’s lawyer.
However, Mr Hemming said the fissure argument was never highlighted to Mrs Courtnage and she did not see it among the 500 other documents in the large court bundles.
He told the Commons in September: “I have for some time been worried about what I was told by a social worker some years ago, which is that at times the legal aid-funded solicitors for parents conspire with local authority staff in order to ensure that the parents lose.

“One example where that appears to have happened is that of Jacque and John Courtnage, whose two sons were taken into care because one had a lump on his head.
The doctors were not sure whether it was because of a fracture or a fissure.”
” The child was neurologically sound, which implies a fissure, but the parents did not see the evidence that it could have been a fissure until after the court had decided in 2010 that it was a fracture, and the question was never considered in any court judgment.
“A court order on October 30, 2008, had said that all evidence should be provided to the parents. That did not happen.
“The hospital provided Derbyshire County Council with the information in December 2008 but this did not get to the parents until after the finding of fact hearing of 2010, when they made a subject access request.
“The question is whether the council colluded with the parents’ solicitors.”
The MP said in the debate that he and Mrs Courtnage had asked the solicitors about the issue. He said a solicitor had denied the allegation but refused to give a “detailed response”.
He said in the Commons that, to him, meant the lawyers “colluded with Derbyshire County Council to keep this evidence from the parents”.Mrs Courtnage tried to raise the fissure diagnosis before an appeal judge in September 2011.
However, due to an administrative mistake by court officials, the case was heard in her absence and the potentially vital pieces of paper were never presented to the judge.
She has recently decided to try to reopen the appeal under civil procedure rules.A spokesman for Derbyshire County Council said: “We would strenuously reject any suggestion of collusion.
“The judge had before him all the child’s medical records including all those received from the Queen’s Medical Centre and the issue as to whether the child had a fissure or a fracture was fully brought before the court.
“The court had evidence from experts including a consultant paediatric radiologist and consultant neuroradiologist.

These experts were appointed independently by the solicitor acting on behalf of the child.
The child also had the benefit of a children’s guardian appointed by the court to represent his best interests.
“We are confident that the actions we took were the right ones and that the decision taken by the court was the right one.”
It’s about bloody time the disgusting scandal of Britain’s stolen children was fully investigated by the police.If children are being snatched illegally, the social workers, lawyers and judges who were complicit in these cases should all be sacked and put on trial.
They may well end up on the receiving end of filthy Britain’s justice system themselves.

They bloody well deserve it.



The New SS: UK Lawyers, Judges and Social Workers Colluding to Steal Children




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forced adoption

forced adoption

How social services are paid bonuses to snatch babies for adoption
By SUE REID
Last updated at 23:10 31 January 2008


For a mother, there can be no greater horror than having a baby snatched away by the State at birth.
The women to whom it has happened say their lives are ruined for ever - and goodness knows what longterm effect it has on the child.
Most never recover from this trauma.
Imagine a baby growing in your body for nine months, imagine going through the emotion of bringing it into the world, only to have social workers seize the newborn, sometimes within minutes of its first cry and often on the flimsiest of excuses.
Yet this disturbing scenario is played out every day.
The number of babies under one month old being taken into care for adoption is now running at almost four a day (a 300 per cent increase over a decade).

In total, 75 children of all ages are being removed from their parents every week before being handed over to new families.
Some of these may have been willingly given up for adoption, but critics of the Government's policy are convinced that the vast majority are taken by force.
Time and again, the mothers say they are innocent of any wrongdoing.
Of course, there are people who are not fit to be parents and it is the duty of any responsible State to protect their children.

But over the five years since I began investigating the scandal of forced adoptions, I have found a deeply secretive system which is too often biased against basically decent families.
I have been told of routine dishonesty by social workers and questionable evidence given by doctors which has wrongly condemned mothers.
Meanwhile, millions of pounds of taxpayers' money has been given to councils to encourage them to meet high Government targets on child adoptions.

Under New Labour policy, Tony Blair changed targets in 2000 to raise the number of children being adopted by 50 per cent to 5,400 a year.
The annual tally has now reached almost 4,000 in England and Wales - four times higher than in France, which has a similar-sized population.
Blair promised millions of pounds to councils that achieved the targets and some have already received more than £2million each in rewards for successful adoptions.

Figures recently released by the Department for Local Government and Community Cohesion show that two councils - Essex and Kent - were offered more than £2million "bonuses" over three years to encourage additional adoptions.
Four others - Norfolk, Gloucestershire, Cheshire and Hampshire - were promised an extra £1million.
This sweeping shake-up was designed for all the right reasons: to get difficult-to-place older children in care homes allocated to new parents.
But the reforms didn't work. Encouraged by the promise of extra cash, social workers began to earmark babies and cute toddlers who were most easy to place in adoptive homes, leaving the more difficultto-place older children in care.
As a result, the number of over-sevens adopted has plummeted by half.
Critics - including family solicitors, MPs and midwives as well as the wronged families - report cases where young children are selected, even before birth, by social workers in order to win the bonuses.

More chillingly, parents have been told by social workers they must lose their children because, at some time in the future, they might abuse them.
One mother's son was adopted on the grounds that there was a chance she might shout at him when he was older.
In Scotland, where there are no official targets, adoptions are a fraction of the number south of the border, even allowing for the smaller population.
What's more, the obsessive secrecy of the system means that the public only occasionally gets an inkling of the human tragedy now unfolding across the country.
For at the heart of this adoption system are the family courts, whose hearings are conducted behind closed doors in order to protect the identity of the children involved.

Yet this secrecy threatens the centuries-old tradition of Britain's legal system - the principle that people are innocent until proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt.
From the moment a mother is first accused of being incapable as a parent - a decision nearly always made by a social worker or doctor - the system is pitted against her.
There are no juries in family courts, only a lone judge or trio of magistrates who make decisions based on the balance of probability.
Crucially, the courts' culture of secrecy means that if a social worker lies or fabricates notes or a medical expert giving evidence makes a mistake, no one finds out and there is no retribution.
Only the workings of the homeland security service, MI5, are guarded more closely than those of the family courts.
From the time a child is named on a social services care order until the day they are adopted, the parents are breaking the law - a crime punishable by imprisonment - if they tell anyone what is happening to their family.

Anything from a chat with a neighbour to a letter sent to a friend can land them in jail.
And many have found themselves sent to prison for breaching court orders by talking about their case.
As High Court judge Mr Justice Munby told MPs last year: "It seems quite indefensible that there should be no access by the media, and no access by the public, to what is going on in courts where judges are, day by day, taking people's children away."
However, it is not only secretive and publicly unscrutinised family courts that are creating an injustice in our adoption system.
There is a more worrying factor involved. Look at the official figures. Why are they so high? Is it really true that more mothers are becoming potential killers or abusers?

Or are the financial bonuses offered to councils fuelling the astonishing rise in forced adoptions?

forced adoption

John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP campaigning to change the adoption system, said yesterday: "I have evidence that 1,000 children are wrongly being seized from their birth parents each year even though they have not been harmed in any way.
"The targets are dangerous and lead to social workers being over-eager".
"The system's secrecy hides any wrongdoing. One has to ask if a mother is expected to have problems looking after her baby, why doesn't the State help her instead of taking her child away?"
The MP's concerns are echoed by the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS), a body which advises new mothers.
Spokeswoman Beverley Beech insists: "Babies are being removed from their mothers by social workers using any excuse.
"We strongly suspect this is because newborns and toddlers are more easily found homes than older children. They are a marketable commodity.
"I know of social workers making up stories about innocent mothers simply to ensure their babies are put up for adoption.

"Suitable babies are even being earmarked when they are still in the womb.
"One baby was forcibly removed in the maternity ward by social workers before the mother had even finished the birth process and produced the placenta."
Her words may be emotive. But are they true? Six months ago, I wrote an article about a young couple - who must remain anonymous because of family court law - fighting for the return of their three-year-old daughter.
She was taken within weeks of birth and is about to be adopted.
Astonishingly, a judge has issued a Draconian order gagging them from revealing anything, to anyone at all, which could identify their daughter until her 18th birthday in 2022.
Immediately after the article was published, I heard from 35 families whose children were forcibly removed.
The letters and e-mails continue to arrive - coming from a wide range of families across the social classes (including from a castle in the heart of England).

An e-mail from one father said: "Please, please help, NOW. We are about to lose our son . . . in court tomorrow for final disposals hearing before he is taken for adoption ... we have done nothing wrong."
Another father calling himself "James" rang to say his wife's baby was one of eight seized by social workers from hospital maternity units in one small part of North-East England during one fortnight last summer.
A Welsh man complained that his grandson of three weeks was earmarked for forcible adoption by social workers.
The mother, a 21-year-old with a mild learning disorder, was told she might, just might, get post-natal depression and neglect her son.
To her great distress, her baby was put in the care of Monmouthshire social services within minutes of birth.
The grandfather said: "Our entire extended family - which includes two nurses, a qualified nanny and a police officer - have offered to help care for the baby.
"I believe my grandson has been targeted for adoption since he was in the womb."
A Worcestershire woman told how her daughter's baby was snatched away by three police officers and two social workers who came to the door of her house.
The girl has now been adopted.
The mother's failure? She was said to be too young to cope.
Yet - a little over a year later - she had another baby, a boy, whom she was allowed to keep, in the same home and with the same partner.
Why on earth did she have to lose her little girl?
The grandmother emotionally explained: "All the family came forward to offer to help look after my granddaughter, and all of them were told they were not good enough.
"The social worker told us to forget her. He said: 'She is water under the bridge.'
"We think they wanted her for adoption from the beginning."
No wonder she, and thousands of other parents, want a shake-up of the heart-breakingly cruel adoption system which has ripped apart so many families - and which continues to do so.

How social services are paid bonuses to snatch babies for adoption



UK government child stealing exposed by EU



'Gurning' social worker who was high on drugs hosted riotous all-night party where children as young as 13 snorted cocaine

Social worker Susan Downing, 37, given two-year suspended jail term
She pleaded guilty to allowing her home to be used for supply of drugs
Schoolboy, 13, and girl, 15, were given cocaine and vodka at 5am party
Downing was seen 'gurning with her jaw swinging' and has quit her job
Rachel MacLachlan, 32, jailed for three years for supplying the drugs

forced adoption

A social worker who was high on drugs as she hosted an all-night party where children as young as 13 were given cocaine and vodka has quit her job in disgrace.
Susan Downing, 37, who was said to be 'gurning with her jaw swinging' during the party, pleaded guilty to allowing her house to be used for the supply of cocaine and amphetamine.
She was given a two-year suspended jail term after claiming she had been 'stressed' at the time..

A 13-year-old schoolboy and a girl aged 15 who were at the 5am party in Rishton, Lancashire, said they were given cocaine to sniff through a straw and one snorted it off a key.
At least one other child took drugs alongside an 'all and sundry' gathering who were also offered wine, beer and spirits in the kitchen, Burnley Crown Court heard.
It emerged the drugs had been supplied by a female friend of Downing who offered amphetamine to the 15-year-old girl saying: 'In order to take it, you would put it in a skin and bomb it.'
Rachel MacLachlan, 32, of Rishton, pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine and offering to supply amphetamine and was jailed for three years.
Police who were alerted to reports of youngsters taking drugs at Downing's party spoke to the 15-year-old girl at the party who said cocaine made her 'feel alive and gave her lots of energy.'
She said parties were a 'regular thing' at the property and if the police had not become involved 'it would still be going on.'
Downing, who worked alongside social services as a support worker for families and children, was also fined £250.

Prosecutor Stephen Parker said the party which took place early last year came to light when a friend found out the 13-year-old boy had been 'sniffing coke' at the party and told his relatives.
He was confronted but said he 'wasn't telling as he wasn't a grass.'
Mr Parker said: 'After being pressed further and being threatened with being taken to the police station, he eventually admitted that he had had some. They then went to the police station and the child provided a urine sample which tested positive for cocaine.'
The 13-year-old boy later told police 'loads of people turned up to the party' and he had vodka and cocaine.
Mr Parker said: 'He said at some point everyone seemed to go to the kitchen so he and another teenager went in and people were taking cocaine.
'He said there were numerous small bags on the worktops containing what he presumed to be cocaine and they were making it into lines and snorting it through straws.
'He said another teenager was taking it, as well as Downing, MacLachlan and various others who were present. He said the teenager he was with asked Rachel if she would 'sort my mate out,' at which point she handed him a key with cocaine on, telling him not to grass.
'Downing also told him not to tell anyone. He took the cocaine through a straw, like everybody else was doing.'
The 15-year-old girl at the party said she was given cocaine by MacLachlan after she asked for some.
Mr Parker said: 'She said she saw both the defendants taking lines of cocaine. People were taking it off keys and doing lines when they split it with a credit card and snorted it through a straw or a rolled up note. She said she couldn't believe she actually knew all this.'
'At some point Rachel left and returned with a bag of amphetamine and asked her if she wanted some, but she declined. She said in order to take it, you would put it in a skin and bomb it.'

forced adoption

The prosecutor said the teenager thought amphetamine had made Downing 'bad,' as she couldn't speak or stand up, was gurning and her jaw was swinging.
Police searched Downing's home and recovered a bag containing cocaine from the living room, various straws with traces of cocaine on them and a bag containing cannabis and a cannabis grinder.
Downing initially claimed nobody was taking any drugs at her house and said she had never taken cocaine.
But when she was later interviewed she admitted she allowed her premises to be used for drugs usage.
'She stated she worked alongside social services as a support worker for families and children and drug use would not be encouraged in any way by her employers,' said Mr Parker.
Downing's defence lawyer Mr Sukhdev Garcha said his client had since referred herself for counselling and now working for a charity for the homeless, advising on housing issues.

He said: 'Her behaviour was abhorrent morally and I can understand public disgust at it - but this young woman had a blip.'
The lawyer said at the time, she had been at a very low ebb, had problems and was stressed.
'She worked for social services. She thought she couldn't ask for help as she thought that is being a failure,' he said.
'She was isolated. She sought solace in drink which had a slippery slope to drugs. She's not proud for doing that but that's an explanation as to why the events came about.

'The arrest was a wake-up call and she had realised her behaviour was not acceptable to her and to society. She is now using her life experience she gained as a result of this offending to assist others.'
MacLachlan claimed she didn't get Downing 'hooked on cocaine and she was already a user when they met.
In mitigation Robert Elias, for MacLachlan, said her behaviour, committed when she was in drink and had taken drugs herself, had been dreadful and disgraceful and she had now sought counselling.
He added: 'Any person hearing of that sort of behaviour, giving a young child a Class A drug, merely because he's asked for it, would be absolutely horrified. Casual drug taking is no longer for her. She seems to have turned the corner. She seems to have realised that she really has got to stop doing that.
'She is ashamed and upset. She is dismayed at what she did. She realises she has behaved in a way no right-thinking person would condone. It's a completely thoughtless and stupid thing for her to have done and she knows that.'

Judge Ian Leeming, QC, said the party involved 'disgraceful and very serious criminal behaviour'.
But he decided it was appropriate to suspended the custodial sentence on Downing 'after some misgivings.'
He told her: 'The acts done by you are not all that different to the acts done by Miss MacLachlan. The offence of supplying cocaine to two children is a grave one.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2926478/Social-worker-gurning-jaw-swinging-hosted-riotous-night-drink-drugs-party-children-young-13-snorted-cocaine.html



London - Luci da Costa

Newcastle, northern England, November 13th, 2013. The Brazilian woman, LUCI DA COSTA, 40, received a visit from a social worker. The news was bad. LUCI, who had five days to leave her home, had lost custody of her two daughters for social services. The reason: she would not have a home in which to house her daughters. The social worker, XY, handed her a document; she had to sign section 20 of the Children’s Act in the UK. It was a contract whereby LUCI was to hand over full custody of KALINDI, 2 years old, and KRISHNA, 12. In sum, both girls could be put up for adoption. With no time to consult an attorney, the Brazilian mother, who was unaware of what the contract meant, hesitated. Besides, thought the Brazilian mother, how could ALISON DODDS, the social worker, know she would be homeless within five days? LUCI, from the State of São Paulo, Brazil, refused to sign the document. LUCI had been residing in the UK for 14 years and knew enough about the British authorities, who usually keep a cordial shade to hide a double game.

Inflexible, the British social worker XY said that if the Brazilian mother refused to sign she would have to call the police. Her daughters, she warned, would be taken anyway. She had now adopted a more truculent manner. The Brazilian mother, who is a Hare Krishna, hoped there was some truth in the promise of the social worker: once she had a new home, she would get her daughters back, both from different fathers, the first from a German man, and the second from a Briton. Two weeks later, says XX to CartaCapital, she got a house. What happened to the daughters? They stayed where they were, that is, under the “protection” of social assistance. “I was mentally destroyed, having lost over 110 pounds in a month,” tells me LUCI. The case of a 5.5-foot tall woman who weighed 198 pounds after giving birth to KA, suffering a drop of 88 pounds would worry Brazilian doctors. However, in the UK it seemed to have had no effect. “Here in the UK there is not the slightest concern for the fate of foreigners and their children,” a British source that provides services to the government tells me. XX was just one more victim of a British systematic forced adoption market, the only one in Europe. It is worth 2 billion pounds annually.

Sometimes these cases involve the British upper classes. Such was the case with Victoria Haigh, who now lives in Paris with her second daughter, R. Haigh, now 43, is a former champion jockey and horse trainer. In Britain, she lived with her first daughter, identified as X. In 2010, Haigh was deemed unfit to care for her daughter by X’s father, backed by the judiciary. Haigh had claimed that the girl’s father, David Tune, sexually abused their daughter. By losing custody of X, Victoria challenged the British legal system. The result: the daughter was returned to her father, Tune. Victoria tried to approach her daughter in a parking lot. She was sentenced to three years in jail in December 2011. Victoria served nine months.
Victoria was arrested again when she invited X to the christening of her half-sister, but was released in May last year. “When I was pregnant with R, I fled to the Republic of Ireland to give birth to my daughter there, and now my Irish daughter and I live in Paris,” says Haigh. She claims that her husband is a pedophile, and abused their first daughter. “But he did not cause problems for the system like me,” adds the horse trainer, who says she is ashamed to be British.
In fact, this mafia scheme involves judges, lawyers, psychiatrists and, of course, social workers. According to Ian Josephs, who runs Forced Adoption (see interview), the scheme involves “more than 25,000 children.” “They are removed annually from British parents, most of whom have not committed crimes.” A significant share of children are placed for adoption. Josephs adds: “Many institutions are bad, every year 10,000 children go missing in the UK, and the number who die is very high.” My source close to the British government claims that there are pedophile rings that prey on these “missing” children.

Josephs does not have details about pedophile rings. He recalls, however, that when he was a British county counselor in the 1960s, he worked on the case of a mother who lost a child to foster care. The boy, 12 years old, with an IQ of 150, was placed in a secluded school four times more expensive than Eton boarding school, the most prestigious private school in Britain. Josephs asked the boy if the school was good. “Rubbish,” snapped the boy. There is something positive? “Yes, the money I earn.” How? “Sleeping with the teachers.” On Josephs’s website, Forced Adoption, we see similar cases to LUCI’s, the Brazilian mother. It also guides parents and offers contact for financial assistance to flee the UK. Mothers and fathers may have flaws, says Josephs, but most do not deserve to be separated from their children. These kids, says the government source, “are placed for adoption like dogs and cats.”
There was the recent case of the Italian Alessandra Pacchieri, then 33 years old. In the summer of 2012, she went to London and applied to be a stewardess for the airline Ryanair. Pacchieri, who is bipolar, was pregnant. She passed the test. Pacchieri started having panic attacks and called the social services. She was then forced to have a cesarean. The social services claimed that because of her mental problems she was unable to raise her newborn child. Now outside the UK, Pacchieri cannot see her baby. According to the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano, the case triggered a legal battle between Italy and the United Kingdom. Pacchieri, who had stopped taking the drugs in order not to affect her daughter in the UK, asked an American aunt to take care of the child. But, surely, the baby will remain in Britain. Josephs, from Forced Adoption, asks: “Why does this not happen in Italy, France and other countries?” Simple, the government source retorts: “Italians treat people humanely.” XX, the Brazilian mother, was not treated humanely by a system that uses the so-called “politically correct” behavior, as Joseph emphasizes, “to appropriate babies and put them up for adoption.”

There was, it is worth remembering, the case of a Brazilian Edygleison Martins dos Santos, who in 2006, at age 3, was held in England. Reason: his parents were accused of beating him. In fact, he had spots on his body and his nose was bleeding because he suffered from a low platelet count and Wiscott Aldrich syndrome. The parents fled to avoid arrest, and left the child with an uncle. A year later, the British discovered that the boy was sick and needed a bone marrow transplant and sent him back to Brazil. At 5 years old, in 2008, Edygleison died of heart failure at the Hospital das Clínicas in Curitiba, in southern Brazil. There is another case of a Brazilian requesting anonymity currently going through the UK courts. She used heroin sporadically and lost her baby to the social services, as she is allegedly unable to care for the newborn.
As for LUCI, the Brazilian mother of KRISHNA and KALINDI, she can only see her children twice a week, each time for one hour, under supervision of social workers. When the Brazilian mother cries, the assistants write reports highlighting her emotional instability. Ditto if she cries in a plethora of court hearings. Sometimes these reactions are induced. Just before a hearing, the Brazilian mother was told her baby was sick. It was a lie to make her cry. Positive reports from three social workers made about LUCI were discarded. The only ones considered of any worth are those by ALISON DODDS, the social worker who originally took her two children away, and other assistants who wrote reports after the removal of the children. According to a trial in August, KRISHNA will stay with a foster family until she is 18 years old. LUCI sent letters of KRISHNA to CartaCapital, in which she says she wants to return to her mother. The fate of KA, the two year old, will be decided in January 2015. In the meantime, the Brazilian mother lives in distress. She needs ten thousand pounds for expenses for litigation to prevent the adoption of her daughters. Perhaps, if she gets the money, she can prove how the British system is nothing but a sham.


"British judges not bound by European court of human rights, says Leveson


forced adoption

Judge insists UK courts no longer automatically defer to ECHR’s rulings, while lawyers rail against Britain’s potential repeal of the Human Rights Act
Sir Brian Leveson
‘We’ve matured in our approach to the European court, and that court has learnt from us as well,’ said Sir Brian Leveson, speaking at the Hay festival on Sunday.
Sir Brian Leveson, the judge most famous for his report into press ethics, has said he does not consider himself “crushed by the European jackboot” when it comes to applying the European convention of human rights in British courts.
Leveson told an audience at the Hay festival that UK judges were not bound by the decisions of the European court of human rights (ECHR), and instead were only obliged to take the Strasbourg court’s rulings “into consideration”.
Leveson said the convention was “devised in large part by British lawyers, reflecting British values, to ensure that the activities that we’d all heard about during the second world war never repeated themselves”.

Though cautious not to expressly pass judgment on any future or current lawmaking around the subject, the president of the Queen’s bench division intimated that ECHR rulings were less binding than is widely perceived.
“When the convention became a part of UK law it allowed our citizens to cite the convention directly. That doesn’t mean we are bound [by its decisions] ... the legislation only requires us to take them into account,” he said.
“So if it looks like a [British] statute could have one of two meanings, and one complies with the convention and one doesn’t, we are required by statute to follow the one that complies with our convention responsibilities.”
Leveson said that a British judge would never automatically defer to Strasbourg and that UK courts had “matured” in recent years in their consideration of ECHR decisions.
“The oath that every British judge takes is to try every case according to the laws and usage of the realm, which means we have to comply with the law as set out by parliament and higher courts. Parliament has required us to take account of European decisions.”
“I do not consider myself ‘crushed by the European jackboot’,” he said, repeating the phrase used by the panel’s chair, Prof Philippe Sands. “I believe that we as British judges are doing no more than parliament requires of us [in applying the convention in Britain], I have no doubt about that at all.

He added: “Some early decisions by the then House of Lords did veer to the view that ‘Strasbourg has spoken, that’s the end of it’, but we’ve matured in our approach to the European court, and that court has learnt from us as well.”
Other members of the panel, all human rights lawyers, were far more outspoken in their criticism of a potential UK withdrawal from the European convention and the possible repeal of the Human Rights Act.
Thomas Buergenthal, a former judge at the international criminal court in the Hague, said he reacted with “sadness and surprise” to those arguing that Britain should leave and said the UK’s absence would be to the detriment of European citizens, particularly those with less scrupulous governments.
“I think the UK doesn’t have to be in the convention because the legal system in Britain is bad,” Buergenthal said. “The presence is so important because Britain influences other judges from other countries and how the law operates.”
Richard Goldstone, the South African judge who was a United Nations prosecutor at the international criminal tribunal, said it would be a “great pity for the United Kingdom to set this precedent”.
“It would enable some autocratic set of leaders around the world to say, ‘why should we be bound by international law if this great font of democracy, the United Kingdom, is pulling out?’”

British judges not bound by European court of human rights, says Leveson


Thousands of children stolen by the UK government every year !




Mail Online

Baby whose mother strapped him in front of fire for three days died after social services missed 17 chances to save him


By Jaya Narain

A baby was found dead in his pushchair in front of a blazing gas fire – his body charred and burned – after social services missed 17 chances to save him.
Alex Sutherland, aged 13 months, had been dead for at least three days, according to a harrowing report published yesterday.
He
had faeces on his hands, legs and buggy, had severe nappy rash and had bruising on his head and body.
Jailed: Mother Tracey Sutherland, who drank up to six bottles of wine a day, was told she must serve 27 months behind bars Tragic: Alex Sutherland, who died aged 13 months, was found in a 'scene of unimaginable horror'. His death was described as both 'predictable and preventable'
Tragic: Tracey Sutherland (left) was jailed following the horrific death of her baby son, Alex (right)
His mother, Tracey Sutherland, 39, who formerly worked in a pharmacy, was found nearby by police walking in the rain in her pyjamas and smelling of alcohol.
She later admitted neglect and was jailed for 27 months.
Yesterday a Serious Case Review found Alex died despite numerous calls to social services from relatives, friends, police, nurses and a childminder.
The report states there were 17 separate occasions when fears were raised over his welfare.
Yet he was not placed on the ‘at risk’ register and was allowed to continue living with his mother at their home in Wythenshawe, Manchester, even though she admitted drinking up to six bottles of wine a day.
The case echoes that of Baby P – Peter Connelly – a 17-month-old boy who died in 2007 after suffering up to 50 injuries over eight months, despite being repeatedly seen by Haringey Children’s services and NHS professionals.
In March 2009 a review by Lord Laming said a higher priority should be given to .
He said there was a lack of communication and joined-up working between agencies and he highlighted problems, with under-trained social workers and a ‘tick box’ mentality.
The findings were published as Alex’s suffering – and the failures surrounding his case – were heading towards their tragic conclusion. Yesterday’s Serious Case Review spells out a catalogue of occasions when the authorities could have taken action.
The report, by Manchester Safeguarding Children’s Board, condemned health and social workers, saying Alex’s case was ‘poorly managed throughout’ and his neglect was ‘both predictable and preventable’.
Referring to Alex as Child T and his mother as Mrs E, it said: ‘Child T was known to agencies because of Mrs E’s misuse of alcohol, yet 17 expressions of concern (four of which alleged she was drunk) failed to trigger a reconsideration of the initial assessments that the likelihood of future significant harm was low.
‘No single agency was responsible for failing to protect Child T from the chronic neglect which he suffered at the hands of his mother, but rather he was the victim of the multiple failures of all those agencies … to recognise the risks to which he was exposed and to take appropriate action.’
The report went on: ‘There were a number of contacts made with agencies by Mrs E’s family and friends expressing concern about her drinking behaviour and the impact it had on Child T.’
It said the mother-of-two had had an alcohol problem throughout her adult life after being introduced to drink by her step-father at the age of eight.
By 2007 she was drinking six bottles of wine a day and drank throughout her pregnancy. Just three weeks after Alex was born in October 2008, police were called to the house to find him lying on the floor in front of a gas fire while Sutherland staggered around drunk.
He was returned to his mother just nine days later after Sutherland insisted she would deal with her alcohol problems. After his death, Sutherland told police: ‘This is horrible, I’m a disgrace, an absolute disgrace. I didn’t mean to harm him at all, absolute disgrace I am, sick in the head. Do I go to prison now?’
She was jailed at Manchester Crown Court in April last year.
Laura Roberts, chief executive of NHS Manchester, said: ‘We are very sorry that we…did not fully recognise the extent of his neglect.’
Pauline Newman, the city council’s director of Children’s Services, said it was clear ‘there were areas where we could have done better’.
She added: ‘We have carried out an extensive programme of work since this little boy died to ensure that staff fully understand the lessons that need to be taken on board from this tragedy.’
‘We have also further trained staff to be assertive and challenging to parents who abuse alcohol.’ Enlarge
Chances to save Alex
Agencies defend action, claiming 'we were trying to do something'
Ian Rush, the chairman of Manchester Safeguard Children's Board hit back at claims they did nothing to prevent the child's death.
He said that Sutherland hid the true extent of her alcohol abuse from them.
'The report is clear in saying that the level of neglect this little boy was experiencing was preventable, had things been different at certain points and had people assessed the situation in a different kind of way,' he said.
'It is important to stress that it's not as if agencies and organisations weren't trying to do something to support this mother, they were.
Judge Clement Goldstone who jailed Sutherland criticised social services for their 'lack of urgency'
Judge Clement Goldstone, who jailed Sutherland, criticised social services for their 'lack of urgency'
'She was denying to them that she was drinking as much as she was and was playing down the impact that alcohol was having in her life.'
Pauline Newman, the city council's director of Children's Services, said they could have done more for the boy.
'It is clear there were areas where we could have done better,' she said.
'We have carried out an extensive programme of work with staff since this little boy died to ensure that staff fully understand the lessons that need to be taken on board from this tragedy, in particular the need to sharply focus on the experience of the child, and to understand and act upon the impact of parental alcohol abuse upon them.
'We have also further trained staff to be assertive and challenging to parents who abuse alcohol.'
Laura Roberts, chief executive of NHS Manchester, said: 'The death of this little boy was a tragedy and we offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends.
'We are very sorry that NHS Manchester, as one of the agencies involved in his care, did not fully recognise the extent of his neglect.
'The Serious Case Review clearly identifies a number of areas requiring improvement within our own organisation, and in the way we work with other agencies.
'We have also further trained staff to be assertive and challenging to parents who abuse alcohol



Mail Online

Dubious 'experts' are paid to tear families apart

A new report condemns the shoddy standards of psychologists' reports in our family courts.
A long overdue scandal hit the headlines last week when a semi-official report exposed one of the murkiest corners of our child protection system – the way that supposed professional “experts” help social workers to remove children from their parents.
A study by Professor Jane Ireland, a forensic psychologist, for the Family Justice Council examined 126 psychological reports trawled at random from family court documents. It found that two thirds of them were “poor” or “very poor” in quality; that 20 per cent of their authors had no proper qualifications; and that no fewer than 90 per cent of the authors were not practising psychologists but appeared to earn their livings, wholly or partly, from writing reports for social workers. Already one psychologist, whose company has made nearly half a million pounds a year from such reports, is under investigation by the General Medical Council.
The picture Prof Ireland conveys is one with which I am only too familiar. I have seen how families can be torn apart largely on the basis of highly dubious psychological evidence designed, as John Hemming MP puts it, to “suit the demands of local authorities”. One mother lost her children, for instance, on the basis of a 235-page report, costing £14,000, which found that she was “likely to have a borderline personality disorder” – without the author ever having met her.
Another woman was found by a psychologist to be “a competent mother” – so the social workers went to a second witness, who found the same. They then commissioned a third, who at last came up with what they wanted: that the mother had, again, “a borderline personality disorder”. On that basis, her three children were sent for adoption.
A married couple lost their daughter because the father, who had had four “psychological assessments”, saw no reason to submit himself to a fifth. The Court of Appeal found that he seemed to be putting his “emotional needs before those of his child”, and ordered that the child be adopted.
Damning as Prof Ireland’s report is, her remit was only to look at psychological assessments. An equally disturbing picture might emerge from examining other groups of medical “experts” who earn thousands of pounds from evidence which parents may not be allowed to challenge or even read.
One contentious area, for instance, is where parents are accused of having injured infants who are found to have small fractures to their bones. A fashionable theory, pioneered by a Dr Kleinman in the US, holds that such fractures are a sure indicator of “non-accidental injury”, ie the child must have been abused. In one case (which I was able to report last year because the judge, unusually, published his judgment) it was clear that all the four medical witnesses had supported this “Kleinman theory”, unquestioningly accepted by the judge.
But other experts strongly disagree, citing studies which suggest that such fractures may quite often arise naturally from a deficiency of vitamin D (as tests had shown was the case with this particular mother). When I showed the judgment to a doctor expert in this field, he immediately recognised three of the witnesses as doctors who “go round from one court to another to support the Kleinman theory”. Since no one was in court to challenge them, the heartbroken mother – like many before her – lost her son.
Several scandals have hit the headlines in recent years involving doctors struck off after making a reputation as witnesses, pushing some theory about “brittle bones”, “shaken baby syndrome” or “Munchausen syndrome by proxy” which was eventually exposed as fallacious. But these causes célèbres have centred on criminal courts, where evidence can be put more rigorously to the test than is required by the much laxer procedures of family courts. As I have observed before, once a court system is allowed to hide itself away behind a wall of secrecy, the chances are high that it will become corrupted. A perfect example is the role played in our family courts by many of these professional “experts”. The good work Prof Ireland has begun cannot be allowed to stop there.


Dubious 'experts' are paid to tear families apart

Thousands of children forcibly taken into care

adoption

2 February 2015 Last updated at 10:31 GMT
Every year about 11,000 children are taken into local authority care without the consent of their parents.
Last year, more than 2,400 of them were forcibly adopted.
It is a controversial practice and one that is facing criticism not just in the UK, but from politicians in Europe where forced adoption is rare.
Rachel Royce reports.
BBC Inside Out is broadcast on BBC One South East on Monday, 2 February at 19:30 GMT and nationwide on the iPlayer for 30 days.


Adoption: Thousands of children forcibly taken into care




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