Family Court Stories
There is some interest in the media (link to Observer story) about the Family Courts.
I am particularly interested in the aspects relating to Public Law (which is where Social Services come in).
The argument is put forward that the secrecy is there to protect the children.
Why, then, when it has been proven that everything claimed to justify a child being taken into care is false and the case was dismissed with the costs awarded against a local authority does the case remain secret?
There are situations where children (that are over 12 ie Gillick competent) and parents want to talk to the media about what has been done to them by Social Services Departments, but they are not allowed to.
What is so very wrong that a child is not allowed to talk about the way that child was treated by the system?
The problem with much of Labour's legislation is it assumes that people who have authority will not abuse that authority.
Exactly how many cases involve an abuse of authority is not clear. The MPs group dealing with Munchausen's by Proxy (now renamed FII) is trying to find out.
The system (in this case the DFES) collects statistics in a way that makes it impossible to know the answer.
The problem with the system is that there is a need for a system to deal with situations where children are being maltreated by their parents.
There are, however, hundreds and probably thousands and maybe tens of thousands of cases where the system instead is maltreating both children and parents.