How to protect your family against social workers





These texts are published on the National Child Rescue Organisation site. They are reproduced here just in case some of our readers may not have visited the links on our site.




This really happened

A 14 year old girl, considered 'at risk' by social workers, is taken into care by the local authority. She is placed with foster parents and their teenage son.

A few weeks later it is discovered that the child is pregnant, the foster parent's teenage son being responsible. The girl miscarries and is taken to hospital. When she has recovered, her social workers return her to live with the same foster parents and the same teenage son.

A couple of months later the girl is pregnant again and again the teenage son is responsible. Again she miscarries and again she is rushed into hospital. When she has recovered, her social workers return her to the same foster parents and the same teenage son.

After a few more months it is again discovered that the girl is pregnant and that the same boy is responsible. This time she doesn't miscarry so her social workers send her off to have an abortion. After she has recovered, her social workers send her back to the same foster carers and the same teenage son.

A few more months pass when once again it is discovered that the girl (now sixteen) is pregnant and (would you believe?) it's him again. This time, however, she resists all the advice of her social workers and declares that it is her intention to have the baby and to bring it up as any other young mother might.

On the day the baby is born, the mother's two social workers hot-foot it to the local court with an application to have the baby taken into care.

Now here is the punchline: Their grounds for asking for the order were that 'the mother is not responsible enough to care properly for her child'.

The judge, satisfied that social workers were capable of acting a lot more responsibly than the mother, granted the order.




When social workers first come knocking upon your door it is almost certainly because they believe your child, or children, may be facing some form of danger.

Their reasons for thinking this can be from a number of sources - a malicious telephone call from your next door neighbour who doesn't like you parking on his bit of road, to a genuine call from a school teacher who thinks an injury may not have been accidental. Many, many, first time visits are prompted by anonymous and malicious telephone callers to your local social services patch office.

All social workers have a statutory duty to investigate allegations of possible child abuse, whether those allegations appear true or false. However, the initial investigative visit is where most problems usually begin. This is because so many social workers lack investigative expertise and are forced to depend solely upon first impressions and gut feelings when they first interview you.

It is, therefore, very important that as a parent under investigation, you realise that in about 90% of all cases, there will be no solid reason or scientific foundation for what the social worker may do next. The social worker's next move (after the initial visit) will usually depend upon how comfortable, or how uncomfortable, he felt when he was in your company.

Ironically, if you make him feel comfortable about his first visit, there's a very good chance that he will find a good reason for wanting to visit you again, and again, and again (and this is especially true if you are a good-looking single mum, we have found). The reason for this is because your new social worker, like most other people, prefers to be drinking coffee in a super-friendly environment to risking a punch on the nose in a hostile environment where a child is really being abused.

QUESTION: So how is your first time social worker going to justify his repeat visits to your home?

ANSWER: He has to tell his team leader that he is not satisfied that all is well within your household and that he feels more visits will be necessary to clarify the situation.

This is where social services relationship with you will begin to break-down, for this social worker has to write a report to which his superiors (and later the courts, perhaps) will have access and which will contain his trumped up 'suspicions' about you and your family. If he dares to admit he has no suspicions, then he cannot justify any further visits.

The more often you make this social worker welcome, the more frequent will become his visits. And the more 'suspicions' he will have to invent for his more frequent reports. This means that, quite unbeknown to you, your friendly social worker is building a completely false dossier about you and your family, back at his office - and to which everybody has access. If your social worker gets knocked down by a bus, your next social worker will pick up this dossier, read it and believe all the 'suspicions' and inaccuracies that it contains.

Whether your friendly social worker gets knocked down by a bus, or not, your local social services department will hold in their files a dossier that is extremely dangerous to you and that can be - and in all probability will be - used to destroy you and your family sometime in the future. More important, this will be a dossier that may be used in any blackmail attempt, "Do what I tell you to do or I'll make sure your kids are taken into care." (This happens more frequently than one would want to believe).

QUESTION: What information is this dossier likely to contain?

ANSWER: Unfounded suspicions, your life background, your relationships with members of the opposite sex, your children, your family - past and present, any criminal convictions and anything else you may have told him, in confidence, over a cup of coffee. And it is more likely than not that a great deal of what he has written has no relationship to what you have actually said

(we know from many years experience of investigating complaints from social services victims).

At any time and for any reason, your friendly social worker may suddenly lose interest in you and not wish to be friendly anymore. And it is at this point, that his superiors will want to know whether any 'further' action should be taken in your 'case'. Out comes the dossier, out come the suspicions and all the fabrications that the dossier contains.

Now, suddenly, it becomes apparent to social services that you are almost certainly a danger to your children. There now begins a very long battle with social services. You start fighting to keep your children at home and they start fighting to take your children into care.

Your ex-friendly social worker will never admit that his dossier is full of fabrications. So now he has to find even more evidence to prove you are a bad parent and, when you eventually go into court to defend yourself, you just won't believe the amount of faked evidence that has been stacked against you. You are now in very grave danger and, unless you have a very good team of defence lawyers working with you, you are likely to find your children placed in the care of the local authority by a judge who is not at all concerned about the tremendous failure rate social services have displayed over children who are taken into care.

Of course, the scenario described above is not the only reason children are wrongly taken into care. We have used it as a very good example of how a caring family can become the totally innocent victim of a badly run social services department. And, as we said earlier, it happens a lot more frequently than one would want to believe.



The first visit and all subsequent visits

1. You have every right to expect that the social worker who calls is honest, truthful, a person of integrity, well trained and properly supervised. From our vast experience we can tell you that we have never yet come across a social worker who has all these qualities. It is important, therefore, that you assume the worst and act accordingly.

2. Be polite to your visiting social worker, but do not, under any circumstances, welcome him /her, or treat him/her, as a friend. He/she is investigating an allegation that your children may be in danger and, like a police officer, he is expecting you to be as devious as any criminal. If you treat him/her as a friend, he/she will assume you are attempting to hide the violent/vicious side of your character. And, if it's not convenient to talk to him/her at that moment, you have every right to ask him/her to call again 'at a more convenient time'.

3. Before making any decision about allowing him/her into your home, tell him/her politely that you are perfectly willing to answer any questions that you consider are relevant, but that you would prefer those questions to be in writing. Your answers will be in writing - this way, nothing that either of you has said, can be misinterpreted or misunderstood. If he/she objects strongly to this, you will have to decide whether you are going to talk to him/her or not. If you don't, your social worker has the power to cause you a lot of problems (to teach you a lesson).

4. Whether you allow your visiting social worker into your home, or not, make it very clear that you intend to write down EVERY word that passes between you. Also tell him/her that at the end of the interview you will expect him/her to sign each page as verification that it is a true account of everything that has been said. Then, taking a notepad and pen (or back of a large envelope and pencil), write down word for word what he/she says to you, and word for word what you say to him/her. At the end of the interview be sure that his/her signature is at the foot of each page. In the past we have known social workers attempt to avoid this situation by telling the parent she is being obstructive and that her attitude will go against her. If this happens to you, write down word for word what the social worker says and immediately lodge a complaint with the director of social services for your area. YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO MAKE WORD FOR WORD NOTES OF ALL INTERVIEWS - whether they occur in your home or on social services premises.

5. Whatever you do, do not rely solely upon the use of a tape recorder. Always insist upon writing word for word notes. This way you send some very clear messages to the social worker and his superiors. They are that:

(a) you intend to be in control of every interview conducted. (b) you are not going to enter into any small talk (that may later be misquoted or misinterpreted). (c) you are not the sort of person they can easily entrap, and (d) you are going to tie them down to hours of work each time they interview you so, unless they have some serious allegations or complaints against you, they should not want to bother you again.

6. If at all possible, have a 'friend' in attendance at each interview. Ideally, your friend should not be the next door neighbour or a relative (they might be tempted to lie in your support ). In court the 'friend' most likely to be believed is the local vicar, your town councillor, an off duty Justice of the Peace, a solicitor or somebody similar.



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