In a recent whistleblower interview for the British newspaper, The Express (http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/289232), the concept of children being taken from problem parents unnecessarily to improve councils’ Ofsted ratings was introduced to the public. At a time when government cuts are so prevalent, the journalistic claims could reinforce the need to review the adoption process for problem families if they are found to be more endemic.
The story broke in the Express on Sunday (11th December 2011) and it has prompted Liberal Democrat MP, John Hemming to claim that the findings were a “national scandal” according to his website’s news section. He went on to demand a full Parliamentary inquiry into Britain’s child protection system in a bid to help children being taken into care unnecessarily without jeopardising at risk individuals.
The whistleblower gives weight to the idea that flip flop processes are being put in place by government decision makers as a result of extreme cases as the government go to extremes to all to cover to prevent further atrocities of neglect and abuse from breaking in the press. This could mean that many families’ lives are being torn apart simply to chase numbers and avoid possible recrimination, which seems like its just another mistake from the Social Services in the UK.
One of the big factors mentioned by the whistleblower is that there is a culture of fear within the social worker profession and councils following the abuse of baby P and the lack of action to prevent it at the time. It’s one of a number of high profile cases in which genuinely endangered children have not been given the support and protection that they need, leading to critical press coverage.
However, people like John Hemming are calling for a reasoned and measured approach to problem families to safeguard children from atrocities like the Baby P case, but also to protect and nurture problem families that want help, but find it difficult to cope with the economic and social strains of modern society. It’s clearly a fine line to tread, but the question remains whether or not the government is ever going to get to a balanced approach that provides timely support and protection for both the extreme and problem cases alike.
More information on the Social Worker whistleblower story, visit the Express at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16157124