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Sunday, 1 December 2013

Anyone with an ounce of humanity must be appalled by this story,

picture from gloogle

Further to the post on an Italian national having her baby removed by caesarean section in the UK without her permission I would like to share this from Geraldine.

Anyone with an ounce of humanity must be appalled by this story, that so many professionals must have been involved in this travesty beggars belief. Maybe some good will come out of this, not for the mother and child involved of course, but for profiling a British system which is rightly denounced in the rest of Europe, and which is causing so much grief and unbearable distress in Britain today.

If, like me, you have always believed that family courts always put the interests of the child first, then you are about to be shocked as I have been by what is happening.

In January 2012 The Financial Times published a piece about the investment potential for private companies seeking to invest in Foster Care. Private equity companies are attracted to Fostering because of the potential for "cost savings" and "economies of scale" and it is seen as a "growth market". Independent Fostering agencies 'care' for about 40% of children in care. Many of these agencies were small scale one or two person businesses started by social workers. But the big boys are moving in.

These are buying up the small agencies and this is the "fostering space" where consolidation provides opportunities for profit. It is where large concerns, often multi nationals from the health and service sectors can invest and please their shareholders. This world has its own language so that Fostering becomes 'Corporate Parenting' and this is typical of the jargon....."Private equity have been consolidating and investing in the fragmentary domiciliary care space for the last 5 years, and have begun to exit those investments to facilities management businesses. You can see something similar occurring in the fostering space.

According to Abe Laurens in the Not So Big Society, one private company has a profit margin of 30% and the only way this can be achieved is to limit the services they provide for children, i.e cutting out placement support services like therapy; and to cut corners on matching the child's needs with appropriate carers. If the fostering fails the companies can just blame the child and move on to the next placement.

The fact that the 'National Fostering and Adoption Agency' started by 2 social workers was recently sold for something like £20 million, and the fact that every child in care costs £750 a week, much of that money going to fostering and adoption agencies, means that adoptive children are Big Business. So it is alarming to realise that enforced adoptions are increasing , but not only that which child gets taken for adoption, or is put into care is decided in secrecy and with no way for parents to question or appeal these decisions.

If you have not heard of these secret courts until now I can imagine that you will not believe me. I had to go verify this myself.These Family Courts are closed to the public, but they are also closed to the parents and the parents families. They are decided entirely on the basis of reports by social workers, which rely heavily on hearsay, often that families and parents are never shown. Most of these arguments are based on projections of 'future emotional abuse', and evidence is often cluttered houses, untidy clothes, school absences or failure to engage with a professional. That is just the beginning of State abuse however as any public protests by parents who have had children taken from them and forcibly adopted are given prison sentences ( this is, it is argued, to protect the children , however the children's names are often used in newspaper articles to find adoptive/foster parents...this was remarked on by the French courts when looking at Britains system). The shock to parents seeing their children in papers like this must be heartbreaking. Parents have been jailed up to 3 years for acknowledging their child when bumping into them and even for sending them a birthday card.

Older children who are forcibly removed from their family are then processed by State sanctioned 'emotional abuse'.....they are immediately isolated from all friends and family and mobiles and laptops confiscated. They maybe allowed a few limited supervised contact sessions but have to sign an undertaking not to discuss 'the case', nor any complaints about fosterers or social workers, not to use a foreign language, nor be over affectionate or loving. This institutionalised abuse of parents and children seems to me to be utterly wrong, and also seems as emotionally traumatic as any other abuse.

If every child who is forcibly removed from their family including grandparents, or who is forcibly removed for adoption, is potentially a source of income for a profitable business then it seems to me that secrecy of procedure and gagging of highly traumatised victims can only be viewed as highly suspect. It is also not putting the interests of the child first, as only in cases of exceedingly brutalising abuse can the forceful removal of a child from their familiar world be justified. That is the case for older children. There is also the forced adoption of babies. One case I read about (I haven't got the link to give you as I only noted the circumstances ) was of a woman who had been brave enough to get far away geographically and in time from an abusive partner. She met and married another man who was kind and supportive. Her baby with her new husband was forcibly taken away for adoption at birth. The poor parents were unable to talk to the press about their case (although they are trying to fight it via the EU and have moved to France) because they would have gone to prison and her other children would then have gone 'into care'.

So this case is unusual as the child was removed from the mother's womb, but we can't be certain that it is unprecedented given the secrecy of Family courts and the gagging of those they affect. To say this is done in the interests of the children is a poor argument when forcibly intervening in the way they do constitutes its own abuse. If this child is eventually returned to its mother there will be no compensation to the child or to the child's mother for these lost first years. This is so serious it should not be allowed to be decided behind closed doors with no family members to give evidence or promises of support. It smacks of kidnapping and if there is the remotest chance of anyone anywhere making any profit from these circumstances all the more reason to make these procedures accountable at every stage.

Keith Ordinary Guy

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