Skip directly to content

Social Services Stole My Baby

Like us on fb

Lukes Dad's picture
on Sat, 05/07/2016 - 12:37

Why did they take my Angel?
I don’t know why, but I can make some guesses. I do know that they wanted to take her, at any cost, because they never provided or supported any alternative. The kindest reason I could give would be that that choose to take my Angel because it would cost them to support her being with me. Besides, they could make money by taking her into Care.
There are some things that you should know:
• The Local Authority should make every effort to find a solution before considering adoption because it is, in their own words, the most draconian thing to do
• Social Services Child Care have Teams to deal with each stage of the process and allocate a Key Worker for each one. That Key Worker is responsible for all decisions and actions, none of which seems to be supervised or monitored. When the Case is passed onto the next Team, or even the same Team in another Local Authority, everything: Every decision, every recommendation, every action; is accepted without question. This is a system that is open to abuse and exploitation – the Case File will contain whatever the Key Worker wants it to and there is nothing and nobody to check it other than to ask the Key Worker if there are any problems.
• There is no independent oversight: The Chairperson for the Child Protection Committee was the same person who chaired the committee to “see” if everything was being done correctly; the people that investigate complaints, especially those complaints about their conduct during the Court Hearing were the very same people that the complaint was made against.
• No records of meetings and contacts are kept, save those that they wish to make. Even meetings where there are stenographers present and a record made, they choose what to keep and make public – altering it if required.
• Social Workers lie, they cannot help themselves. They will not commit to anything you ask of them and will prevaricate and evade the issue. If pushed, they will say anything to make you stop asking. Then they let you down and deny it.
This is just a short list, but you should get the point. They get away with it because at the end of the day: they are the Local Authority. They are Civil Servants working for Local Government. They are to be trusted and respected because they know what is right.
There is nothing special about the people who work for the local authority, they are just the same sort of people as you and me. If anything, it could be said (and often is) that people end up working in the Public Sector because they would not survive in a commercial and business environment. It is also, sometimes, said that people choose to work there because it provides them with access to opportunities not available anywhere else. This is not to say, and I must stress this, that this applies to everybody. There are people who do care, who do do a good job. But the system can corrupt them and suborn their ideals. You only have read the news, or be aware how many former Local Authority employees leave and continue to perform the same role in the Private Sector.
I will summarise my story, as briefly as possible, and let you decide if my Angel was taken because of their incompetence or the inability of them to do their job properly (which is a whole new worry in its own right). Or if there was some design or malicious intent, for personal gain, in their desire to rob me of my baby.
It started when two Polices Officers came to interview my Ex about allegations of historical sex abuse. I wasn’t in the same room at the time – it was a “dawn raid” but my Ex says that they panicked and arrested him, took him and all the computers in house (including my brand new laptop) over an allegation of a single photograph that everybody knew about 10 years previously. It took them nearly a year to Charge him – and that is important. But it is his story. They also noticed that I was three months pregnant. So, because they have a “duty of care”, they notified Social Services.
A month or so later Social Services arrived, but we were expecting that. My Ex had a previous conviction and we both knew what to expect and what our responsibilities were. We cooperated fully, gave our consent for access to our medical histories etc and had no real concerns or worries. The first Social Worker seemed to be impressed with the preparations we had made and our attitudes and ability to have a safe family. But she was replaced before she could write her report. The second Social Worker was also similarly impressed. While we were not told why the first had been replaced, we were still not worried. But we should have been. Incidentally, we had spent nearly £2000.00 on clothes, toys and equipment for our baby. We had deliberately moved to a three-bedroom house so that our baby could have its own room.
The first time we suspected that they may be problems was when the first Child Protection Conference was scheduled only a day or two after we had received our copy of the Social Worker’s report. It gave us no time to prepare ourselves and address some of the concerns we had about it – and there were many including the fact that, apparently, both of us had a history of serious mental health issues – which was news to us. As you don’t qualify for Legal Aid at this point in the Process, and attended without any representation. To some extend we did not think we really needed it, despite being told several times already that our failure to cooperate could result in legal action. The purpose of the Child Protection Conference is to discuss and plan the next steps in the Process: To make the decision between working with the parents or to start Care Proceedings. At the meeting we were introduced to the Social Worker who had been allocated to our Angel, who would be the Key Worker for the Next Team. We did not get a Social Worker and the only point of contact was through this Key Worker. Somebody that was virtually impossible to get hold of and would constantly fail to pass on messages. Although they had no difficulty contacting us when they wanted.
Apart for all the Council Workers and Social Workers, the Child Protection Conference was attended by other “professionals” like the midwife and Health Visitor. As I was still pregnant, we only knew the midwife. At the end of the conference the Chairperson asked to see how people would vote. We did get a vote and everybody accept our baby’s new Social Worker wanted to “work with the parents”. Then The Chairperson revealed an impressively thick wad of paper claiming that these were police reports of Domestic Violence. Without any opportunity to discuss or defend this, the vote was then called for. The only person to stand by their previous choice was the Social Worker who done the pre-conference report.
After the conference, when all but the Social workers had left, my Ex was asked to leave the room so that they could have a word with me. What they wanted, and all they said was that I would be better off without my Ex. And they were not particularly nice about it. It upset me tremendously, and if you know me that you know that I am saying. They had no idea of what to do and had to call my Ex back. It is quite clear at this time that they considered my Ex to be the “problem”. What we did not know at the time was that this Local Authority had a “zero tolerance” to sex offenders and that included them having a family. Of course they could not say this outright because that would be an incredible and severe infringement of several Human Rights. After this one failed attempt to separate me from my Ex, they made no further such attempts. Instead they would claim from that day forward that I continually failed to co-operate in this matter and would use that failure of co-operation as “supporting evidence” in our “non-separation”.
Then there was the second Child Protection Conference. The only thing of note, relevant to this document, was that my Ex had the opportunity to state that he accepted that there was no possibility of him continuing to be in a relationship with me if I was to keep my baby after the birth. But he also stated that he would want to ensure that I was provided, because of my background and difficulties, with full and appropriate support. The Conference had no response to that and when the Chairperson asked the Key Worker the response was a completely disinterested and bored “I don’t know, perhaps we could involve Adult Services”. Obviously, no consideration or planning had been given, or even wanted, for this possibility.
It would seem that my Ex was no longer considered to focus of the Local Authority’s concern. Yes, they had claimed that the baby would be at risk of physical and sexual assault by him; they also claimed that the baby would be at risk of emotional harm because of the Domestic Violence; and they were also beginning to claim that I would, because of my background, neglect the baby. They claimed that they could not risk assess my Ex because there were outstanding Charges (he still had not been charged but it did not stop them making the claim and stating that to Third Parties). It is also important to know that never, at any time, did they ever take the time to discuss or address their concerns to us or even to try and find out any truth about us. They did want to see my copy of my Care Files from when I was a child and whilst I willing for them to do so, I was not prepared to hand them over as they might have gotten lost. They claim that they were unable to get them from the Local Authority concerned which, when considered with all the other things they can do as a Local Authority like get Birth Certificates and Passports, I do not believe for one second.
It was at the Gateway meeting that they disclosed that I must attend a Mother and Baby Assessment, despite the fact that this was something I was trying to get them to do. Eventually they admitted that I had to attend because they were concerned that my childhood experiences were such that I would not be able to bring up my baby properly. This is something else that they later denied saying because, it would again, be a violation of my Human Rights and because Head of the Family Court had stated that “being in Care as a child is not a reason to take a baby away” and this is exactly why they claimed they were doing it. Especially as my Ex had already stated that he would not be seeking sole or even joint custody. As painful as it was to me, he had deliberately taken himself out of the picture, so to speak.
Social Services had identified me as a vulnerable adult, but not to help me. They demonised my Ex and claimed that he was exploiting my vulnerability and abusing me. Every time he tried to help me they shut him up. When we were asking for help from outside of Social Services we were making good progress until the people we asked for help contacted Social Services. Then we would never hear from them again. So, in telling themselves and others that I was vulnerable and being exploited did they do anything about it or to help me escape. No.
I was forced, with use of threats, to go to the Assessment Home. There was no discussion of plans for what would happen at the end of the assessment, despite being asked several times. The only place I had to go was back home with my Ex and they already said that wasn’t going to happen. I think they had not made any plans because they knew that I would fail. They made sure I would fail. They made it as difficult for me as possible without actually tying my hands behind my back. They triggered, or caused to be triggered just about every anxiety and worry of mine and they KNEW I would not react well. They KNEW what my issues were and my difficulties with coping with new things – my Ex tried to explain how to get the best out of me but they IGNORED it. As far as they were concerned – because it was what they had been told, that he was an evil and manipulating Domestic Abuser.
They took my baby into Care because they claimed that I was neglecting it and did know how to care for it. The evidence they provided was things like the fact that there was a “dramatic” loss of weight, or I was not using enough formula power to make her bottles. The truth of these two things were that the weight loss was normal, according to the midwife, and couple of weeks after birth and baby was big to start with. The formula incident was because there was not quite 6 scopes left in the tin. They also stated that I had more concern for myself because I was worrying about contact with my Ex – Home was over 60 miles away and my Ex was unemployed and not on benefits; visits were severely restricted for him because he was not allowed on the premises (because of what Social Services told them) and they did not have the staff to cover – despite the fact I was supposedly on 24-hour constant monitoring. I was not given the support I needed, I was expected to do everything right by myself, first time. It was the first time in my adult life that I had been truly alone. The stress was tremendous but they did nothing to reduce it – if anything they kept piling it on.
I know they wanted my baby because when they took her away I was breast feeding and initially they would only allow contact for two hours every two weeks. They were NOT THE RULES, but they didn’t care.
Once they had my baby they only offered Adoption or Kinship Adoption. They Knew that I had no family that could adopt. They KNEW that my Ex’s family were too old. Everything they said and done assumed that they would be awarded custody – and this was months before the Final Hearing. It was only when the Court appointed Guardian got himself sacked (and that’s something that needs to be investigated and explained, although they did state that the reason(s) were not just about our Case, but I am inclined to not believe that anymore). It was the Independent Guardian who took over at short notice who asked why they had not offered a Special Guardianship Order. Incidentally, until the Independent Guardian saw Social Services she seemed nice and sympathetic to us and could not understand why we had been treated so badly. After her contact with Social Services her attitude towards us changed completely. You have to ask yourself, are all these people such good players and experts at being two faced? Or have they had their hearts and minds changed by the tales told by Social Services? Either way, it’s not right!
The plan we created without any help or support from Social Services or anybody, for that matter; where I separate from my Ex and live with my Sister, was dismissed as being “too desperate” and “late in the day”. Social Services “investigated” my Sister and could find no fault so they claimed that it would not work because I would be “toxic” my sister’s children and my Ex would seek to maintain his abusive relationship with me. And the Court believed it. Also they claimed that because we had not done anything “our plan”, it was not real. This was ignoring the fact that my sister lived at the other end of the country and, whilst we had actually received an eviction notice because the Landlord wanted to sell the house, we did not have the money op the means to move at that time. Besides: How would we be able to continue to attend Court and meetings with our Solicitors?
There was a moment when they thought that they might actually lose, when a Crown Court Judge got involved. They were very scared for a moment but they rallied and with a fabricated threat of abduction by my Ex; lies from the Police about my Ex being convicted because they (the Police) had a confession from him; As evidenced by all the police presence during the Judgement at the Final Hearing and the fake “concern” about me being physically prevented from attending the Judgement – I could not bear to be there and I wrote a letter to the Judge explaining why: They must have put the fear of god into the Judge about the very real risk of violence from my Ex. And the Judge believed them – and still does.
I mentioned earlier that they could not Risk Assess my Ex because of his outstanding “Charges” – an excuse because they do not want sex offenders to have families. They did not want me to have my child because they were “concerned” that I would harm it because of my background – but they could not say this. So they claimed, in Court, that I had to go to the Assessment Home because I was unable to assess or even recognise the risk of my Ex within a family environment and, therefore, I could not protect my baby.
So, with the Court agreeing with Social Services on everything my Ex and I decide to carry out our plan anyway so that when inevitable Adoption Hearing happened we could should a significant change. It was a difficult decision for both of us, and very hard on me but I coped because it meant that I would get my baby back.
It is important to note that throughout the Process there was a constant pressure to have it completed with 26 weeks. Because of this there, any request for assessment or investigation was refused because there was insufficient time to allow for it and it was in my baby’s best interest to be adopted quickly.
Shortly after my attempts to Appeal had failed, (Oh yeah! The Court decided that there were no grounds for appeal so I had to apply for permission to appeal) I was notified that suitable adopters had been found. Again, because of the rules about Legal Aid: I could do nothing until I actually got notice of the Appeal Hearing. They made that Application the day after my Ex was convicted – three months after I was told my baby had been placed 16 months after my baby had been literally ripped out of my arms and taken into Care; 18 months after it was born. So much for 26 weeks!
The Adoption Application was filed in London so we had to go there. It was actually the Social Services Barrister that asked the question ”Why London?” I tried to get it moved to where I lived, but Social Services complained that it would mean that their “witnesses” would have to spend all day away from the office. Never mind the cost financially, emotionally or physically for me to travel. In the end it was sent back to the Court where the Final Hearing was Heard. It would have been easier and cheaper for me to travel to London. Even then, Social Services casted doubt onto my separation from my Ex because we had “travelled to Court together and shared overnight accommodation”. We both were unemployed and on benefits. Neither of us could afford the cost. And, of course, Social Services told us that they don’t pay expenses for Cases that are this far advanced.
So we come to our Application to Oppose the Adoption. My Ex had documented most of our complaints and concerns about the entire Process, including speculation and the offered of proof that some actions were very suspect if not outright criminal. The Judge decided to ignore it. The Judge decided that my Ex’s Testimony was not required. Judges can do that if they want. They only have to read and listen to what they want to hear. Somehow, Social Services had gotten hold of a letter written to the Appeal Court by my Ex and claimed it was proof that we had not separated. Somehow Social Services had gotten hold of my Ex’s pre-sentence report that the Author of which had incorrectly stated that he was still in a relationship with his Ex and used that as proof that we had not separated. Because, in the document submitted by my Ex, a 36 page, 325 paragraph, 17,500 word document the word “partner” was used TWICE, it was proof that we had not separated. As a note about that: That document was compiled from several previous documents and edited in a single whole one. The two uses of the “partner” were very close together towards the end of the document and the ONLY time they were used – not even “Ex-Partner” was used anywhere else.
Because my Ex knew where I lived; because my Ex helped me move in; Because we attended Court together; Despite the fact and my Testimony that I had been emotionally, physically and financially separated from my Ex for over a year. The Judge decided that there was insufficient separation and that my request to oppose the adoption was refused.
So now you have the basic facts, even if it is from my (biased) perspective. There is a lot I have not explained and not said. I have heard a rumour that a larger, more complete version of our story is being written; that it is nearly 30,00 words long. But I don’t know who is writing it or when it will be published and nobody is telling me anything about it.
So you decide the truth. Why did they take my baby away from me? Social Services have never given a straight answer. Every time there has been a different reason as to why they should. It seems that every time we allay one concern they raise another. I sometimes think that I would have had a better chance if my Ex had gotten a Custodial Sentence. I bet it gave them a severs shock and put the fear of god into them when they found out he didn’t. Yes, he was convicted. Yes, it is a second offense – but this conviction concerns an offence that pre dates his first conviction. But he does claim that he did not commit it and I am not going to comment – as I said that is his story. I will say, however, that it was “convenient” for Social Services for him to be arrested without Charge for so long. Either my Ex was lying to me about things that occurred whilst I was living with him -but I have seen the paperwork from the Police and his Solicitors. Or Social Services and the Police lied about his status – saying that he had been charged and was awaiting trial when he wasn’t: And, when he was Charged, that he was waiting for a Sentence Hearing – before any trial: And, of course, the person who claimed to be a Solicitor working for the Police who told the Court that they had a confession from him, so his convict was certain.