Child protection in the UK has been hijacked. The system that exists to protect children, has failed, is failing, and will continue to fail to protect anyone but it's own, at any cost. And the cost is incalculable.
Years ago, children in the care of local authorities were often poorly treated, and the creation of The Children’s Act 1989 sought to improve things. But it failed. I will do another blog on this.
In the 1990s there was a drive to improve adoption rates, aimed primarily at kids over 7 to reduce the care home population. Targets were set, bonus payments were offered to local authorities for successful adoptions. Private adoption services offered to match prospective parents with a ready made family. Children became big business.
However, most parents looking to adopt aren't wanting older kids, people want their own baby. Older kids in the care system have often had negative experiences, and present with challenging behaviour. People wanted a baby. And they were prepared to pay, thousands.
Meanwhile, child protection overtook social care, where once a social worker would visit parents to offer support, now they were looking for 'concerns'. With targets to meet showing action to protect children, plus bonus payments, child protection now focused on risk assessment. Abuse did not have to have occurred, a social worker only had to decide there was a 'risk' of harm. And not an immediate risk, but a perceived potential future risk was enough for child protection action to be taken.
Adoption agencies had shopping lists of children's characteristics, local authorities held adoption drives introducing children to potential parents, children were posted online to be browsed by potential parents. Adoptive parents paid agencies, agencies paid local authorities, local authorities received government bonuses and public kudos for 'saving the children'. It was now a multimillion pound business.
Social workers were shopping for babies. Certain people were easy targets. Social workers also made up their own form of harm, 'future emotional harm'. This ideology is completely unexplainable, there is no definition nor any way of measuring or predicting such harm.
Young mothers, single mothers, those with limited support networks, learning difficulties mental health conditions, were all targeted. 'Anonymous' concerns usually being the excuse, with the assessment then scripted to whichever fault they manufactured. If your child ticked the right boxes, you stood no chance.
Forced adoption is exactly that, forced. The official term is adoption without parents consent. The UK awarded itself the power to override a biological parents consent to the permanent adoption of their child. It's a barbaric form of social engineering masquerading as child protection.
The problem with shopping for babies to order, is occasionally these babies had older siblings who were difficult to adopt. Authorities were once again swamped with care kids. Social workers saw a massive opportunity, and several left the service to set up private fostering services. People would foster children to ease the burden on local authorities. Private fostering agencies offered assessment, ongoing support, and placements for older kids. At substantial cost. The business of child protection had just branched out.
As well as older kids, the other group of kids struggling to get adopted, were the disabled. Nobody wants a broken one, right? Disabled kids come with additional needs, additional financial needs. Fostering agencies offered placements for disabled kids, at a substantial price.
'Future emotional harm' was used so extensively, it was renamed by the victims as 'the crystal ball method'. Families targeted in this way started to link up, to protest. They needed another rhetoric. So along came FII, False or Induced Illness, previously known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Parents raising concerns about their child's health or behaviour, were targeted and accused of FII. And the supply continued, without question.
Truly abusive parents don't cooperate. Identifying abuse, challenging abusers, is difficult. It's hard work. Abusers are deceitful, manipulative, and their children are well trained to stay quiet. They avoid contact, miss appointments, fail to engage.
Innocent parents falsely accused are very cooperative. They are keen and willing to engage, are open and welcoming, and their children exhibit normal behaviour without fear. They attend appointments and engage fully.
To ensure child protection is seen to be protecting children, a steady number of children were filtering into the system. When a child is removed from its parents and placed into care, that child gains a label: LAC, Looked After Child. The LAC label is very important to all professionals and services involved with the child, as it creates MONEY. Every single professional, from the GP, school, and the social worker and manager, all receive additional funding for children with a LAC label. It is in every professionals financial interests for your child to be in care than with you, that's a fact. Child protection is a profitable business for all those involved, except the children who are treated like cattle and their parents who are treated like serial killers.
So we have a child protection system that financially rewards public servants when children are removed from their parents. There is no financial incentive for providing family support, none whatsoever. And thanks to years of cuts, there is no support services. Without support, families stand no chance of staying together.
Create the crisis, remove the children, move on. That, is child protection.