Friday, November 14, 2008

A complete and utter failure to protect

As regular readers will know, your humble Devil believes that the state's primary responsibility is to protect the citizens of this country—and most especially those who cannot help themselves.

The death of Baby P was disgusting and unfortunate and I hope that the two men and the woman involved die, like Baby P, screaming in agony: they are scum and utterly unfit to live. Why they have been convicted of "causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable person" rather than straight murder, I do not know.

That Haringey Social Services did not protect the child, despite seeing the baby 60 fucking times, is disgraceful. That this was the same organisation that, ten years ago, allowed the death of Victoria Climbié to happen is fucking insulting. That nobody was sacked then is bad enough: that no one has been suspended or sacked even now is even worse.

Cramner is not the only person (living or dead) to have contrasted the behaviour of Haringey and the BBC either.
When two over-paid ‘comedians’ at the BBC phoned an elderly man and pestered him with expletives and abuse, the Prime Minister demanded that the BBC take action.

And so the Director General Mark Thompson did take action. There were suspensions, public reprimands, and the high-profile resignations of senior staff. Cranmer noted how Parliament might learn from the BBC.

And Gordon Brown was content that justice had been done, and public confidence at least partially restored.

Then a woman and her partner murder their 17-month old baby after an appallingly brutal series of attacks upon the infant, which included a broken back, fractured ribs and extensive bruising.

No-one at Haringey Council has been suspended, and no-one has resigned, for it is asserted that ‘proper procedures’ were followed.

All of this is bad enough and would have led to a generally expletive-filled post from your humble Devil. But it gets worse, hence the tone of calm in this little essay—were I to let out my rage I might never stop.

Because a whistle-blower warned ministers that Haringey was failing to protect children in their care, and the fuckers did nothing.
A whistle-blower warned the government of alleged failings in child protection in Haringey six months before Baby P died, it has emerged.

Former social worker Nevres Kemal sent a letter about her concerns to the Department of Health in February 2007.

It was passed to the Department for Children, Schools and Families, which said proper procedures were followed.

Baby P, 17 months, died in August 2007 following abuse. His mother and two men were convicted of causing his death.

Lawyer Lawrence Davies told BBC Radio 4's Today programme his client's letter expressed worry that children in the borough were "at risk".

This was despite an inquiry into the killing of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie - she died from abuse and neglect in the same borough eight years ago.

Ms Kemal believed recommendations made by Lord Laming following that inquiry were still not being followed.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) confirmed it received a letter dated 16 February 2007 that arose from an employment tribunal and contained "an allegation that child protection procedures were not being followed in Haringey".

The letter was sent to the then health secretary, Patricia Hewitt. It was then forwarded on to the DCSF.

Well, what a fucking surprise that Patsy Hewitt did not do anything—the foetid old bitch was probably still congratulating herself on the NHS's best year ever. But I digress...

Every single one of those ministers should be in the dock, alongside the entirety of Haringey Social Services; and all of these disgusting little jobsworths should be crammed into that dock alongside the three cunts who actually killed the child. They are all responsible.

According to Iain Dale, David Lammy—a Haringey MP—also received the letter.
Four letters were sent to four different Ministers, but instead of acting on them, the Ministers or their private offices just passed the buck to others. One of these letters was sent to David Lammy, a Haringey MP. It seems to me he has some very difficult questions to answer, as does the Child Protection Inspectorate, which was also sent a letter.

Your humble Devil has a word of advice for David Lammy: David, please go into the House, apologise profusely, and then blow your brains out with a pistol, right there in the Chamber. Failing that, go away and hang yourself.

Haha! I'm sorry, David: you thought I was joking, eh?

I'm not. Really. Kill yourself.

No one comes out of this with any dignity. The best that we can do is to try to prevent it happening again.

And the best way to do that is to sack every single manager at Haringey Social Services and put them on a blacklist to ensure that they can never work in the public sector, ever again. Let's see if we can't really get going with an encourager les autres policy.

In the meantime, I am going to go away and kick something inanimate.


SaltedSlug said...

Why they have been convicted of "causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable person" rather than straight murder, I do not know.

Ah, I know this one. They were not charged with murder because for that you need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that a particular person (or group of people) killed someone. What we have here is three people, any of whom could've killed the baby. But it would be really rather hard to prove which one, or all, or a combination of them actually killed the baby. But what we DO know is that they all knew the baby was being harmed by at least one of them and that they did nothing about it- so they all get prosecuted with this catch-all law.

It's either that or run the risk of a murder trial and not getting a conviction at all...

JuliaM said...

"David, please go into the House, apologise profusely, and then blow your brains out with a pistol,"

Spotted a wee flaw in your suggestion there...

Old Holborn said...

It's not Baby P

It's Peter Connelly

Let's at least give him that dignity

Rog said...

The social workers tried to stop the mother's newborn being taken away from her, even though she was on remand over the death of "baby P".

Jesus wept.

nightjack said...

Sorry DK, it makes it even less palatable but what saltedslug said is right. I was last in this territory a couple of years ago. Twins. Boy died, girl survived. Spiral fractures, all sorts of other non-accidental stuff.

IMHO in that case daddy done it but mum wouldn't give him up and they both ended up going down the steps for the lesser but more certain offence.

It is an awful situation and well known to defence solicitors that where everyone keeps schtum it ups the chances of avoiding a murder charge.

John B said...

Last week: libertarians in "bastard nannying state; evil social workers are taking kids away from their parents" rant.

This week: libertarians in "bastard not-nannying state; evil social workers aren't taking kids away from their parents" rant.

No bloody wonder they struggle to find anyone any good to become a social worker ("I'll have to deal with untold amounts of misery and suffering, cope with horrible dilemmas every day that go beyond whether the navigation bar goes on the side or the top, and whenever anything bad happens an angry mob will bay for my blood. And I'll get paid sod all. Win!")

nightjack said...

John B,
In this particular case it is clear, really icy water clear, that the social workers were provided with adequate funds, adequate powers, adequate resources and adequate access. Lose!

If I am going to have a bastard nannying state I am at least entitled to expect it to bastard work.

John B said...

No it isn't.

Absolutely sod all is clear about this case, because of the temporary reporting restrictions that are in place (almost certainly because court proceedings on other charges are still pending against the mother and boyfriend. I know that some people who post here think that anyone charged with anything must automatically be guilty, and doubly so if they've already been convicted of something else appalling, but luckily that isn't the way the system works).

Anyone who thinks that anything is clear, beyond the fact that the three of them are despicable bastards, is wrong. We just don't have the evidence to say anything else yet...

John B said...

"The social workers tried to stop the mother's newborn being taken away from her, even though she was on remand over the death of "baby P"."

No, an anonymous source claims that this happened, and the social services can't comment because they'd risk breaching the court order if they did.

James Higham said...

Not only a failure to protect but almost a commitment to stymie.

John B said...

Finally, note that Kemal's allegations were about sexual abuse, which has absolutely naff-all to do with Baby P's case.

Gareth said...

I wouldn't be so sure.

Jason Barker, the lodger and brother of Stephen Barker - Peter Connelley's stepfather, left his family home after sex and abuse allegations were made against him.

Jason Barker is 36. Jason Barker's girlfriend is 15.

Jason Barker made sure he was out of Connelly's home when he knew social services would be visiting. Why? A fear that they would know him by sight perhaps.

Jason Barker helped dispose of evidence.

Jason Barker attempted to obtain a passport and flee the country.

The Penguin said...

Every additional bit of information that emerges makes this worse - and it wasn't very good to start with. Now it seems that Ofsted gave Haringey a glowing report a couple of weeks AFTER Peter Connolly was killed, signed off by some woman WHO HAD WORKED FOR SHOESMITH FOR 3 FUCKING YEARS. And it is Ofsted who So Weak Balls has called in to investigate.

Devil, I know what you mean about trying to contain your rage.

Sack the fucking lot of them, no compensation, loss of pension rights, just a P45 and maybe brand across their forheads saying "Useless Cunt"

The Penguin
Penguinus Sofullofrageimayexplode

JuliaM said...

"No, an anonymous source claims that this happened..."

Odd, I thought lefties positively drooled over 'anonymous sources' when they are uncovering, say, the unspeakable abuse at Gitmo ("horrors! they tore up a Koran!") and the machinations of some large company ("ohnoes! women who do a different job to men are paid a different rate! This cannot STAND!").

Guess not...

Anonymous said...

I'd expected this to be one of those events that cut right across party lines and political ideologies. I'd expected that left, right and centre would have been united in their horror at this case and their anger at the authorities who can use anti-terrorist legislation to spy on and hack the email of people who overfill their bins but who shrug their shoulders at a baby who's being tortured to death.

I'd even expected that we'd all remember Vicky Climbie and we'd ask what was wrong with Haringey.

I expected all of that because I overlooked the blind partisan ferocity of the Labour Party and its dwindling band of supporters. Whenever a Labour Party member is found to have done something wrong, however obvious their guilt and however terrible the consequences, cunts like John B rally round.

Fuck Baby P. Fuck Victoria Climbie. Fuck decency. Fuck responsibility. Fuck public service. Fuck what is right. Fuck everything except the Party but especially Fuck everyone and anyone who does not understand that human life is less important than good spin and good press for the Labour Party and its Glorious Leader (a leader whose only response to a decade's worth of murderous failings in Haringey has been to screech abuse at anyone who suggested that something should be done).

John B, you must make your parents proud. You vile fucking excuse for a human being.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I can't agree with your suggestion that the authorities involved be sacked.

The must be charged with dereliction of duties resulting in the death of a child and this should be applied right from the minister , the doctor and the council staff involved.

If a food producer causes the death of one of its customers then staff from the MD down can finish up with a prison spell so the same should be metered out to the whole crowd that failed this baby.


chris said...

Demanding that in the few areas that the State really does need to get involved (protecting people from violence in this case) that it gets it right is not inconsistent.

Miss Snuffleupagus said...

I thought you didn't want the state interfering in people's lives? Isn't that what happened here?

JuliaM said...

Miss S,

See Chris's statement above.

There are some times, and for some reasons, that the State should intervene. This was one of them.

it does, however, make you wonder about the extended family. Did this creature have a mother and father? Were they as depraved, or simply despairing?

And I wonder if we'll ever know...

Cath said...

DK - you comment on the fact that the letters from the whistle-blower were buck-passed from department to department. Surely, that is what happens with ALL correspondence that reaches Whitehall? A comp slip there and a CC here, job done, arse covered. They're a bunch of shysters the lot of them, most of the time they are just an ineffective waste of money but in this case they are guilty of manslaughter.

Hobgob said...

Fuck everyone and anyone who does not understand that human life is less important than good spin and good press for the Labour Party and its Glorious Leader

Anyone else reminded of serial paedophile/'social worker' Mark Trotter, who was shielded from investigation by, I think, Hackney Council, because he was such a dedicated LP activist? He finally died of AIDS before he could be prosecuted. Wonder how many of his victims he infected...

may I live long enough to see Socialism die said...

Rant, rant fucking RANT.

Oh, 'twas them.

No. Twas Them.

It's the fucking arsehole Social Workers.


Hangin's too fuckin' good--let the non-nonces, the hardmen paedoes(?), the Righteous crims(who despite whatever heinous crime they are guilty of) know the

difference between real right and wrong when it comes to er, crime and will 'fix them'.

Let them, The Righteous Crims, be the unassailable Sword Of Fucking Justice of which we Libertarians can stand proud and say, to our children, yes,.. yes we

stood proud and said may they suffer 17 months(at least but a minimum of said 17)of the the circles of Hell.

Let us assuage our guilt by decrying the whole of the Profession that names itself 'Social Worker' and sit back, as would the fat cat licking it's bow lips

after a particularly tasty sparrow and know our worth. Our sincere worthiness. Our desecration of those who would avail the children of themselves. Who deign

to think that care of children is more important than, well ....anything.

And then tell me and tell me again what happens to these poor waifs in their teenage/adult years?

97% recidivism. That's what.

Try, just try for one minute thinking, acting, what it means for you to bow your head to the floor for 30 seconds when someone enters the room.

Now do it at his age nevermind yours.

And now ask yourself how after you came of age at 17, 17 fucking months, Seventeen.,

You voted Labour?

How does it go again?

'If you were not a socialist at the age of 17 and then grew out of it by?' I paraphrase but I say 'If you were a Socialist at 17 you already were stupidly

beyond contempt and if you still are...suffer the children, because you caused this, you insufferable shits.

John B said...

"Whenever a Labour Party member is found to have done something wrong, however obvious their guilt and however terrible the consequences, cunts like John B rally round."

Sorry, what the *fuck*? Is Sharon Shoesmith a Labour Party member? Are any of her juniors? [clue: no they fucking aren't]. Am I? [clue: no I fucking am not].

The evil people here are the three people convicted of allowing Baby P to die. If you think the social workers are evil, then you're a stupid cunt. If you think they're inept, then you may or may not be right, but there's an obvious fucking line between "criminally inept" and "reluctant to split up families and condemn kids to grow up in care", which none of the ignorant fuckers on this thread (apart from the obvious exception of Ms S, who *has to deal with this sort of shit* and *knows how fucking hard it is*) have ever had to deal with.

I couldn't be a social worker. It'd be a horrible, painful, hideous job. If anyone on here thinks they'd be good at it, they should probably fucking apply, rather than pontificating from their comfy chairs where they make decisions which make piss-all difference to anybody (and I'm absolutely in that bracket) about what UTTER UTTER CUNTS the people who at least fucking try to make a difference are.

John B said...

(also, the report into Trotter said "inadequacies in dealing with the Trotter affair are best explained by reference to overall organisational incompetence rather than to corrupt political conspiracies". But I'm sure a ranty twunt on the Internet knows best.)

Also also, I'm aware that social work often isn't done very well, in the UK or anywhere else. On the grounds that what I do, professionally and on t'Internet, is to try and work out what's actually going on and how to solve it rather than to use it as an excuse to blame the Reds, Yellows or Blues, I'm thinking this might be due to the relentlessly grim, badly paid and permanently slated-by-everyone nature of the job, rather than Evil Conspiracies of Demented Nazi Perverts. YMMV.

(fuck it, once again I'm reminded why although fairly libertarian by inclination, I'd rather hammer nails through my balls than spend more than five minutes with most of the cunts who hang out here...)

Devil's Kitchen said...

I feel that I ought to chip in here. Generally speaking, I have a lot of sympathy for John B's position...

1) The people who are ultimately and, indeed, primarily to blame are the three bastards who actually tortured the child. They are absolute cunts with absolutely no feeling and who should be swiftly beaten to death.

2) Social workers do have a difficult job. I know a couple and it is a crappy job, dealing with crappy people for crappy money.

3) This is why I specifically aimed my bile at the managers who (apparently) failed to learn from the Climbie case.

4) There is a problem in libertarian thought about how far one allows interference by the state (or anyone) into the lives of people such as this. (It was a question that came up at the LPUK event at Cambridge and, I'll be honest, we did not have a real answer (and we said so)).

I don't think that the act of removing a child from guardians who are harming said infant is a violation of the non-aggression principle: the initiation of force is wrong and one can ask others to help defend one from such aggression.

The problem is that a toddler is unable to ask for said help, and so interference is necessary. But the fact that the state should poke into people's lives to the extent that they realise such interference is necessary goes against all of my instincts: perhaps we ought to discuss a solution to the problem?

5) People must be made to realise that horrifically abusing a youngster (or anyone) is absolutely beyond the fucking pale. For this to occur, these convicted felons should be absolutely fucking made an example of.

And the next ones. And the next ones. Until people get it into their heads that this behaviour is utterly wrong.

(I suspect that the perpetrators knew that it was wrong. Either that or they are psychopaths (in the true sense of the word); this is a distinct possibility and probably why the judge has ordered pre-sentencing reports.


Druid said...

Im with Miss S on this one. Being a Libertarian means you stick to one side of the fence - you can't have it both ways.

Either you think its ok that the social services can determine the correct way to bring up a child - or you don't!

So this rant is because you finally realised that the council didn't do what we thought they were meant to do. The whole public sector is based on box ticking because its critics are always complaining that things were not done according to procedures. Nobody got sacked because the ticks are all in the right place.

The law of unintended consequences struck again and a baby was tortured to death by animals.

Going with the logic of what you are suggesting, the state should now take the children of every parent, just in case something like this might happen again.

Unfortunately, a child is killed by its parents every 10 days in the UK. Its not nice, but it happens. It actually happens much less than it used to - it used to be 1 a week.

natural justice will see these people will not live out their lives comfortably - not that it is any real justice in most people's eyes for what they did.

So, is the libertarian point of view that we should not have social services, or is it that we should and it should never ever go wrong in any way possible? If it is the second, its more of a fairy tale than any manifesto I have ever read!

Chris S said...

May I take the liberty of recommending a book to you? It is called White on Black by Ruben Gallego and is about a child with cerebral palsy brought up in a Soviet state orphanage. If you want to know how bad a system of 'following procedure' can get, here is the answer.
Whilst the great and the good in Soviet politics proclaimed how superior their system was as evidenced by their treatment of weaker members of society they presided over the institutionalised murder of those in its care. Everyone had the best intentions but nobody really wanted to know what was going on.

And everyone was blameless because they all followed procedure.

A truly chilling true story that will sound warning bells with those familiar with New Labour speak.

Towards our glorious socialist future said...

In the Socialist Utopia we must all strive towards, the only thing that matters is that Correct Procedures are followed without question.

haddock said...

miss snuffy said
I thought you didn't want the state interfering in people's lives? Isn't that what happened here?"

you are not at cranmer's blog now, you will find contradictions and poorly formed arguments ..... not the erudite and intelligent discussion you are more used to.

"What a difference a day makes"... a song title but also the dilemma that DK faces with his soul-free arguments. Go back a few months and you would find DK arguing the right of such a mother to have a man cut slice and dice her son , to grapple it from her womb with tongs... or to kill it with chemicals. He would stand with her, shoulder to shoulder, to protect her libertarian 'rights' to have it done.... yet one day later, after birth... he would be with the mob to hang the surgeon from the nearest lamp-post if he did the same thing on that day.
Funny old world isn't it ?

Deep Throat said...

Principles are a strange thing. By all means make them, but expect to change them.

My wife often says that I am not the man she married. Damn good job too I reply. At least I have lived, understood and learned.

Anyone who has never made a mistake take one pace forward.

That said, I do find it strange that commenters are finding causes to bash DK. He is human and perhaps in some ways misguided, but he is not afraid to question and attempt to put matters right.

ps I am not a Libertarian.

Hobgob said...

john b, if you're going to quote from a notorious fudge investigation of a Labour protected paedophile, you might as well quote the whole paragraph, not just the sentence you find most self-serving:

'It was claimed that Trotter, who was openly gay, had strong links with the then- ruling Labour group and stayed in his job despite being suspected of child abuse. A separate investigation by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, also commissioned by Hackney Council, concluded last year that Trotter had abused at least six children and teenagers in his care. Mr Barratt, a former director of Cambridgeshire social services, said that there was no evidence of a cover-up: "My conclusion is that inadequacies in dealing with the Trotter affair are best explained by reference to overall organisational incompetence rather than to corrupt political conspiracies." [That was the bit John Boy likes...]BUT he was "highly critical" of the way Hackney conducted its internal inquiry and said that there was a "poor quality" workforce, "mismanagement" and "uncontrolled power exercised . . . in the managerial chaos of the 1980s".'

Read the whole thing, not just the bit Shrill Boy wants you to.

Dick Puddlecote said...

I can almost hear the lefty cackling already as they realise this may help them take away kids for any 'risk' that is de rigeur at the time.

This case is gut-wrenchingly and desperately sad. As Father of a 7 year old son, I was uncommonly close to tears reading about the injuries. DK's anger is palpable and he's only human for expressing it.

My partner's girl fell down a very short flight of stairs when she was 2 (as kids do) and her mum was given a week of suspicion from Soc Serv simply because of where she then lived. There is a difference between not believing a perfectly reasonable explanation of a couple of bruises in a solitary incident, and 60 visits that didn't discover wholesale abuse, including a broken back FFS ... especially as, for Haringey, it was NOT their first offence (in court parlance).

That no-one faces the music for it is quite shocking.

Of course, this case will lead to even more interference for ever more negligible reasons just so they can't be caught out again (I can imagine Redbridge Council already sharpening their pencils to add Passive Smoking as a reason for consigning kids to the orphanage).

The opposite should be true. The fact that Haringey SS didn't spot this makes their position untenable and they should all go. If not, how can the same personnel, with a straight face, take ANY kid into care in the future?

Kinderling said...

It takes a person to be as a little child to spot the abusers. [psft! gone over your head].

Abusers are easy to see because all child-abusers are practised self-abusers. Period.
Social Services employ self-abusers as a matter of policy: Diversity. Social Workers are indoctrinated to look away from seeing the wacko people in their office. So when they see them in the child's home they look away again for fear of being labelled prejudiced, lose promotion or even their jobs. How can you describe what perversion is present in the home when what they do is normal for the manager?

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine a worse job than working as a social worker within a shit-hole or, to give it it's proper title, a British town or city.

That said, the people that do it choose to do so and therefore have exercised a choice, presumably driven by either a selfless ambition to help their fellow man or they are attracted by the 8 weeks paid holiday, 35 sick days per annum, flex-time and generally cosseted public-sector working environment.

I hope it's the former but if these civil servants are anything like the planning officers and other local authority twats that I deal with every day I suspect it's the latter.

Anyone that has any dealing with the councils of this country will know for a fact that they are full of lazy, incompetent, clock-watching cunts. I presume Haringey has its own fair share of these too.

John B said...

I quite like the fact that I'm being labelled "shrill" for being the only person on the thread (DKE, obviously) who's being moderate, non-ranty and non-crazy. Ah well.

"There is a difference between not believing a perfectly reasonable explanation of a couple of bruises in a solitary incident, and 60 visits that didn't discover wholesale abuse, including a broken back FFS"

Again with the "it's not that fucking obvious", with a side order of "it was a fucking doctor who failed to notice the broken back, not a social worker". Yes, on the face of it that sounds like 'stuck off and never work again' for the doctor and we'll see how that goes at her hearing - but if you're a social worker, then taking a doctor's judgement on medical issues doesn't seem outrageous.

Miss Snuffleupagus said...

Hmm, and #4 is the issue. Druid is right to point out that the state will always be about box-ticking. That's the nature of the state. This particular story made the news. Most don't. Either you believe in the state interfering badly, or you think it shouldn't interfere at all. It will never interfere well all of the time. It can't. It is the state, after all. Only people, individuals can interfere well all of the time, and even then, that's unlikely.

And then at what point does the state interfere? Sitting a child in front of the television day after day has devastating effects. A parent could never lay a finger on a child and do him just as much damage which would end in death or a prison sentence. So at what point does the state interfere?

I myself do believe in state interference - I think. But you don't. I'm only pointing out the inconsistency. I'm certainly not 'bashing' you as some of your readers would conclude.

The Happy Rampager said...

@ John B -

Let's consider examples of the following:-

Last week: libertarians in "bastard nannying state; evil social workers are taking kids away from their parents" rant.

Such as the case of the Christian grandparents where the social workers, when asked by a journalist, were candid about the fact that they plain took a dislike to the grandparents and denied access to them as a way of 'punishing' them -

"I asked for clarification. ‘So this is not to do with Mr and Mrs Curlew’s relationship with their grandchildren, but their relationship with you?’

This time, the social worker turned her glare on me. Finally, she admitted: ‘Partly, yes.’

This sums up the children’s fate. They are hostages in an adult power game and are now being withheld as a punishment."

This week: libertarians in "bastard not-nannying state; evil social workers aren't taking kids away from their parents" rant.

The very case DK blogged about.

You see, if you consider things in a little more detail, any questions you might have are miraculously answered.

The Happy Rampager said...

denied access to them = denied access to their grandchildren

Anonymous said...

I believe if public pressure cannot shame Haringey into getting rid of these abominable workers, because of their contracts and human rights la-di-dah, then the public (from all round the country) should find and fund protest candidates to unseat the elected members of Haringey council. If this doesn't work, then we wait for the next election in just under 2 years to unseat Gordon Brown and the entire Labour party. I am a Labour supporter and have no love at all for the Tories, but I can no longer stand the attitude of indifference and negligence that is making our country slide into the gutter. One would have expected this from a Third world country with a non-existent or ramshackle social provision, not from a multi-million pound funded council in the nation's capital.

It's not resources causing this but a collect the money and cut-and-run attitude. If these civil servants can't be bothered to serve the most vulnerable in our society, then they need to 'leave public service to spend more time with their families.' There they can receive money (the dole) and get paid for doing nothing.

As they are now.

Anonymous said...

On TV last night, I saw an interesting program on the Kennedy assassination. They used a computer program to do voice analysis of the voice of Lee Harvey Oswald (believed by most to have been JFK's murderer) and concluded that Oswald was lying when he said that he didn't know anything about the murder.

It seems to me that allowing parents to volunteer to be interviewed while being videotaped and with a voice-analysis program running would help to clear out a lot of ambiguous cases, leaving Social Services with more time and energy to focus on those cases in which the parents admit to being guilty, or refuse to be videotaped.

Somebody mentioned "spiral fractures" as being evidence of abuse, either on this thread or on one of the others. A couple of years ago, new information established that spiral fractures can and do result from accidental injuries as well as from abuse. This was initially discovered when a young child had a serious injury resulting in a spiral fracture, and the entire incident happened to be witnessed by a large number of adults. In the meantime, many people have lost custody of children because the child had a spiral fracture.

My children were once taken into foster care initially based on suspected bad behavior by my ex-husband (which was probably true.) The social worker in charge of the case then refused to release the children to me, because she had "concerns" about my ability to protect them from my ex-husband. (There was a court order in place -- I had no choice about the children going back and forth between my home and his.) The social worker got a judge to sign off on this arrangement, EVEN THOUGH the social worker had NEVER visited my home. Although I had an attorney, he was useless. The children were released about a week later and the "allegations" against me dropped ONLY because a friend of a friend knew the head of Social Services. This man dropped all the allegations and closed the case based ENTIRELY on the word of a woman who had never met me. They removed the children on a whim, and returned them on a whim.

These people have incredible arbitrary power, backed up by total secrecy, and at least here in the USA, their budget is largely determined by how many children they have in care, and to a lesser extent by how many cases they have open.

My preference would be to end the secrecy. The family is already humiliated by having the child removed, and by having social worker's cars in the driveway, so open court proceedings will make no difference in terms of "family privacy" and might do a lot to curb the excesses of Social Services and encourage them to focus their efforts appropriately, rather than trying to terminate the parental rights and grandparental relationships of people who rub them the wrong way.

I also agree that all social workers should be licensed professionals who ALWAYS know that their license is on the line. At this point, we have people who are scared to take their child to an emergency room for fear of being falsely accused.

Frankenburt said...

Lammy is a tit