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Birmingham Childrens Social Services Report

Today the special scrutiny into childrens services in Birmingham was released. In essence it recognised that my assertions that the system was not working were true.

What needs to happen is a systemic review of how the child protection system fails to work. This has not really happened with all of the reports so far.

There are simple proposals that would help. For example allowing councils to employ people with experience but without the formal qualification would help. Parents in their 40s and 50s are well suited to looking at the issues from the perspective of someone who knows how difficult raising children can be. It is really unfair to chuck young graduates in at the deep end.

We need to move away from a tick box culture towards one which values good judgment. This means getting rid of the performance indicators and making sure that computer systems are established with the objective of helping people do their jobs rather than collate information for the performance indicators.

At the Bournemouth conference I spoke at two meetings about this issue.

We also need Ofsted to release the full list of serious case reviews commissioned.


Jerry said…
John, You have been campaigning for change for some years now.

The problems within the system is country wide not only are there problems in Birmingham,Doncaster,Harringhey,sadly the list could go on. the list goes on.

I could list in double figures the wrong children removed,hundreds of thousands of pounds wasted, let alone the man hours these cases can take, along with persistant local authorities who focus on these cases, without concern or merit, the double figure cases are just the ones I know about, understandably you know of many, many more.

My own situation has become even worse these days and next week it will be the first aniversary since we last had any communication with a Social Worker a whole year has passed, when we raise concerns in court no one is prepared to listen, more to the point the Social Worker didn't have the time to tell us their plans but to just send the odd email every now and again.

We are of no risk to our children, the L.A know this, so why are they hell bent on trying to achieve the impossible, because of their own actions means that they might get their wish for only a short time before further money and time wasting court hearing will follow, there's just no justification for it.

We know full well where the problems lay, sadly with people like you John and a few others shouting from the roof tops no one is prepared to listen until sadly it is too late.

How long will it be before we can see serious significant changes, I keep hoping and pushing for them but the wall becomes higher, that high I will have to use a lift just to get over it.
Andrew said…
The system we have is a real disservice to children nationwide for all the reasons John just highlighted, basically children are mistreated, neglected, sexually abused, tortured or even murdered whilst the social services are busy and I’ll use the correct term ‘stealing babies’ from hospitals that are in no danger or no immediate danger, or the social services are busy worrying or pretending to be worried about fetuses and placing them on the “at risk” register ready to be stole at birth.

I have a real difficulty believing so many babies are at “risk of significant harm,” unless they are due to be born to a mother such as Myra Hindley (deceased) or any other child killer or accomplice.

The above combined with poor life skills of social workers (I agree with John again) and the culture of making sure the stats are right lead to an absolute incompetent and dangerous child protection system.

I'd like to pick up on something Jerry raised that is basically "How long will it be before there is a fundamental shift in the way social services operate".

To be honest from what I see nothing does improve in real terms, instead I see sheer incompetence resulting in greater powers being given to the incompetent, powers which do not help the situation but in fact hinder because the new powers and resources are used by the incompetent to continue and further promote the current regime.

Then there are the supposed improvements to the secrecy i.e. courts being more open – Nothing improved in real terms and this was simply propaganda to cover up the secrecy around family courts, I have seen people say “Well family courts are open now” – More like you were hoodwinked I would say.

And if anything does improve in one area then you can bet in many other ways it gets worse.

The more you fight to rectify anything the worse they get generally and in terms of individual cases.


One day the righteous will prevail.
Jerry said…
John, So Sorry if I rattle on here but I am perplexed to understand why this keeps happening.

Since baby Peter's tragic case was brought to the publics attention and the following countless other child deaths that have occured post baby Peter, surely there is something we can do here.

I have no faith in Lord Lamings findings simply because he was involved in the tragic Victoria Climbe's case, what he said should happen, simply it has not been given the glimpse of day light to become useful.

All these child deaths are horrendous in every sense, but what is causing me more heart ache is why the difference in VC's and PC's case compared to the rest.

[b]Every single child death that the Local Athorities have been involed in should bear the same weight as Baby Peter[/b]

How do we know there's not been any others that could be on the same scale as Baby Peter and Victoria Climbe, Thats what scares me the most?

Doncaster, and now Birmingham say that 8 and 15 respectfully have had children who have died in the hands of people the Local Authorities have been fully aware of in the last 5 years, How many more L.A's are covering up the full scale of the enitire situation, John you know personally, and know that there's more, they just don't get the airing that they desperatly deserve.

I am so exhausted in speaking to the Media from every angle,Local Authorities,cafcass and even judges alike, I speak the truth, not in an obnoxious manner, but stating facts to them, the child care system is not functioning as it should be, sadly though, what I say don't seem to make one iota of a difference, at the time of speaking to these folks the majority say "I agree with you" and I get P****D at the comments of "yeah we'll do something about it" sadly the follow up falls on deaf ears.

Forget the Laws, the Protocols, the silly directions and the sodding performance indicators, these are Childrens Lives here we are talking about, inocent youngsters who has no one to stand up and protect them, John we have to do something, What it is now to achieve this is sadly beyond me, but I will push, push as much as I can.
moira said…
Spoke to my old solicitor.In 4 years things arent improving getting worse.

Since my complaint procedures were meant to have changed. Sadly the lgo cant tell me what they ordered SS to change as its all confidential. So things just carry on as normal.

Even sws who are mature,have children and degrees can still be absolutely hopeless,malicious and incompetent.

The better workers tended to be contact centre staff,who had common sense and a mature attitute.

An ex surestart worker said he was disgusted with the way sws treated families. They handled cases badly,were completely insenstive.
I said they made me fell the worst mother alive and he said most of the mums said the same thing.

He said he would write a report and the after the sw had twisted his words,their report resembled nothing like what he had written.

Unfortunately other profs wont come forward cos of the risk of losing their jobs.

It's time sws got done for writing perjurous court statements.That would be one way of raising standards.

It would also help if they stopped all this "give sw a hug" nonsense in the media at the moment. There is still too much incompetence and bullying to be addressed before they deserve their hugs
SK said…
I dont usually comment on blogs, but I have decided to start fighting the incompetence of Social Services in our area. I have been removed from my family and the way in which the case has been handled by Social Services is appauling.

In their initial assessment of our case and during the case conference they wrote a 6 page report - I had to write a 31 page report explaining every area in which they were wrong!

The way that social services handles cases needs serious reform.

The chair in case conferences is supposed to be unbiased and yet works for the Safeguarding Children Board, and the case conference is nothing more than a theatrical process to rubberstamp the outcome which was decided by a social worker after no more than a half hour interview.

Our lives and family have been destroyed because they have lied, drawn conclusions from incorrect statement and asked leading questions etc etc etc. The whole thing is revolting and I will be releasing all the relevant information as soon as it is collated.

I wonder how many other families have been wrongfully destroyed in similar ways.

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