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The interests of the child are paramount

The link is to a story from Australia where the Child Protection team got upset that a foster carer took a child to the doctor without their permission.

Generally it is accepted that the interests of the child are "paramount". What that means is that the child comes first.

The big question is what that means in practise. The various professionals argue the case that they are acting in the interests of the child and hence it means that people should do what they say.

What the evidence is quite clear about is that they have conflicts of interests in certain circumstances. Departmental and personal interests reign supreme in comparison to the children concerned.

The evidence in terms of "looked after" children (the new term for children in care) - sometimes converted to the acronym LACs - is that being "cared for" by the system on average damages life chances.

That is not to criticise individuals generally within the process. It is the system that is dehumanising and results in situations like that in Australia. The absence of scrutiny makes the institutional interest stronger. It is important to remember that when people argue for the continuation of secrecy in public family law that this is not to protect the children. Children who are "released" for adoption are advertised publicly on websites. The secrecy of the family courts acts primarily to protect the professionals involved from scrutiny.


TonyF said…
Just read the article, ridiculous attitude of the authorities. So this means if a child is in serious danger you have to wait for the red tape mob to give you the OK to save the childs life? I sincerely hope that is not the practise here!!
john said…
I am not quite sure what the rules are in the UK.
Emily C said…
What I want to know is whether she'd have been prosecuted for neglect if she hadn't taken the child to the doctor?
ex brummie said…
Mr. Hemmings
I used to be one of your constituents. Did you not know this was happening in your own back yard? It is called the Silvermere Centre and is a danger to any and every family that comes in contact with them.

Forget children in real danger........they focus their attention on blond blue eyed children that they can snatch out of bed in the middle of the night........from middle class, university educated parents who are members of MENSA- and don't say it doesn't happen cause it happened to me. No drug abuse, no domestic violence......nothing

When we were eventually allowed into a case conference about our child we were told "your opinion does not matter you are ONLY the parents" and then walked out of the meeting with the SWs behind us saying "oh he is so cute, this is an easy adoption, I will get my bonus this year- yes!!"
john said…
I am aware that mothers have on a number of occasions been attended by ambulances as a result of what is done at the Silvermere Centre. I am also aware that children are put on the child protection register in Birmingham unlawfully.

If you know of any of my constituents (or even ex-constituents) who wishes me to look at issues on their behalf please do encourage them to contact me. If I am appointed as a lay advisor then I can be provided with all the information about the case.
Emily C said…
I was on the adoptions committee for a while. One of the reasons I resigned (though myriad) was the use by social workers of the phrase "transracial adoptable commodity" to describe a very pretty 2 year old mixed race girl. Children are children not commodities.
TonyF said…
Social Workers uses the phrases they are told to use by the upper echelons. So it would be better not to resign because of a phrase but protest to the Cabinet member for Social Care asking why this phrase is allowed
Emily C said…
Tony I can assure you this was only one of many reasons I resigned. Some were personal. Aspects such as this certainly assisted my decision though.

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