Support for Natural Parents should be Key Factor by 'Social Services'

18th February 2009

Story (By Nick Tarver)

I AM Writing concerning the proposed adoption of the four-year-old girl whose father has been accused of causing brain damage to his son years earlier (Advertiser, February 4). 

The mother has done nothing wrong and it is despicable and inhuman act to remove from her the child whom she bore and loves.

The sanctimonious pontification by Andrew Fraser seems to be couched in terms of self-justification and smacks of an attitude that social services is always right and no one else has any right to question their decisions.

Sadly, there are well-documented cases proving social services has a record of removing the wrong children and leaving those that should be removed to be abused or killed by their carers.

Having said that, the protection of children is essential and obviously, in this case, concerns exist with regard to the father. As there is a difference of opinion between experts over this, what should be happening in my opinion is that the child should be left with her natural family, who should be strongly supported by social services, so that the situation can be closely and effectively monitored.

The objective should be to build up this family, not to destroy it. However social services is unable to provide that support because of a lack of funding, but this does not excuse the attitude. It is regrettable that what has happened in this case gives strength to the argument that social services will always work against the natural family if it is possible to do so, and by and large, is a totally incompetent organisation.

It is a perception the department does nothing to allay because of the institutional attitude that appears to exist at the top of the organisation. While there are cases such as this on the one hand, and Baby P on the other, the feeling that the department is useless will continue.

It is also demoralising for those social workers who can be relied upon to give good advice and support where it is needed, the benefit of whose help I have received on a number of occasions over several years.

Surely there is some action that can be taken to reverse the manifest injustice that you have reported. Why can you not organise some support for this family?