Monday, 26 November 2007

'Tonight' 'Don't Take My Baby -Story Of Fran Lyon' 'Full Documentary' - Both John Hemming & Bill Bache Make Comments!

'Don't Take My Baby' Mike Lewis, following Fran Lyon in the final weeks of her pregnancy as she fights a social services decision to take her baby away at birth, claiming she is not a threat to her child. Both John Hemming MP and Bill Bache (Solicitor) Make Comments!
'Stop Injustice Now' 'Quote' This is another case of social services trying to meet their ADOPTION TARGETS! New born baby's are more adoptable. We need to make forced adoption, a thing of the past.

Part 1
Part 2

Friday, 23 November 2007

Bristol Protest Demo, Starts Today At 10am until 4pm

Bristol Protest Demo, Starts Today At 10am until 4pm

Come Along And Give Your Support
We Need To Make As Much Noise As Possible,
So We Can Make The Family Courts Open.
Fighting For Justice In The Family Courts,
We Need To Stop Social services, BAAF, CAFCASS and The Family Courts
'Stop Injustice Now' Bristol Protest Demo, Starts Today At 10am until 4pm

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

The Mystery of Madeleine McCann 'Panorama Documentary' Watch It Here, or at Stop Injustice Now

Watch The Panorama Documentary!
Read The Story and Watch The Full Documentary In One Part At:
OR Watch:

All 6 parts from YouTube, Are At The Bottom Of This Page!

Gerry McCann has spoken in a personal video of his belief that his family was watched by "a predator" in the days before his daughter's disappearance.
In the video, filmed by a family friend in August and to be screened on BBC One's Panorama, he tells of a "window of opportunity" taken by an abductor.
That belief made him and wife Kate "sick to the core", he said.
Madeleine, of Rothley, Leics, vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal on 3 May, days before her fourth birthday.
The footage - filmed in Portugal by friend Jon Corner and to be shown as part of a Panorama programme on Monday - captures a time when suspicion over the disappearance began to fall on the couple.
The McCanns, both 39, became suspects with "arguido" status in the case in September but deny any involvement.
Mr McCann said that, before Madeleine went missing, he and his wife had been concerned by the security at the back of their Praia da Luz apartment when "maybe the weak spots were at the front".
"It's a corner flat with trees overlooking it - somebody could be hiding there or watching out of view," he said.
He added: "I've no doubt that Madeleine was targeted and that makes us sick to the core to think that someone was watching us and our daughter and then targeted her - I think the true word is a predator.
"But you just don't think there's any trouble and it's certainly the furthest thing from our mind."
Campaign pressure
In one scene on the video, Kate is shown hanging washing out to dry while, in another, Mr McCann is shown making missing posters of Madeleine on his laptop computer.
Also in the film, Mrs McCann talks of the pressures posed by the campaign to find Madeleine and her regret at leaving their children alone in the apartment on 3 May.
The couple dined with a group of friends as they left Madeleine and their two other children asleep in an apartment nearby.
"There's not a textbook about it is there? Like what to do when your daughter gets abducted," she said.
"It's awful and horrible for anyone to have to go through and we are just doing what we think is best."
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

'Stop Injustice Now' Bristol Protest Demo, Starts Today At 10am until 4pm

Bristol Protest Demo, Starts Today At 10am until 4pm
Come Along And Give Your Support
We Need To Make As Much Noise As Possible,
So We Can Make The Family Courts Open.
Fighting For Justice In The Family Courts,
We Need To Stop Social services, BAAF, CAFCASS and The Family Courts
MAP and Directions:

Monday, 19 November 2007

Man guilty of 1975 child murder

Full Story:
A 54-year-old man has been jailed for life for the murder of schoolgirl Lesley Molseed more than 30 years ago. Ronald Castree, of Brandon Crescent, Oldham, Greater Manchester, was told by the judge at Bradford Crown Court he must serve a minimum of 30 years. Lesley, 11, vanished from her Rochdale home in October 1975. Her body was later found on moors in West Yorkshire. Stefan Kiszko was wrongly convicted for the murder and spent 16 years in jail. He died soon after his release. The guilty verdict came after 11 hours and 38 minutes of deliberations by the jury and was a majority decision. After the sentencing Lesley's mother, April Garrett, read a statement outside the court. She said: "We are relieved that after so long our quest for justice for Lesley is now over. "It has been a long and harrowing ordeal, and our gratitude to the friends, family and strangers throughout the world who have given us their support is immense. "We would particularly like to thank the West Yorkshire police force whose dedication and professionalism played a key role in the outcome today. They have been more than police, they have been friends." The jury heard Castree, a comic book dealer, had abducted Lesley as she went on an errand for her mother on Sunday 5 October, 1975. Her body was found three days later on moors on the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester border. She had been stabbed 12 times during a "frenzied attack", the jury was told..

Kids with learning disabilities being singled out by bullies in schools

Full Story:
Eight out of 10 children with a learning disability have experienced bullying, a shock report out today has found. According to Mencap, six out of 10 children said that they have been physically hurt by bullies. The leading learning disability charity also claimed today that disablist bullying is sidelined by the Government and called for more to be done to tackle the problem. Mencap believes disablist bullying is destroying children's lives, leading to social exclusion in childhood and adulthood, and it said that the figures revealed by their report, 'Don't stick it Stop it! Bullying Wrecks Lives' reveals the extent of the problem. One Ulster pupil with special needs, who did not want to be identified, spoke of the horrifying attitude he was faced with when he found the courage to report the bullying he was experiencing. He said: "When I went to school, I got bullied really badly. I got bullied at break times by other children at school. They would call me names, spit on me and throw stones and bottles. "I told my teachers at school and they said that I had special needs so I should get used to it as I would be bullied all of my life. They also told me if I stopped playing at break, then I would not get bullied." Maureen Piggot, director of Mencap in Northern Ireland, said: "We need to see clear leadership from the Government to combat disablist bullying. Whilst Government recognises the impact of bullying, we believe that disablist bullying still is not high enough on their agenda. "Mencap's research highlights how big a problem bullying is for children and young people with a learning disability. Bullying results in missed opportunities to learn, make friends, socialise and play. These experiences inevitably follow children and young people to adulthood and impact negatively throughout their lives."

Data sharing 'could sap public confidence'

Full Story:
Data sharing 'could sap public confidence'Watch out gov't... The government has been warned increased data sharing between departments and services could result in a decline in citizens' confidence in public bodies.The current push by the government towards increased data sharing could backfire, with negative effects for public confidence, according to Merlin, Earl of Erroll, a member of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee. He said schemes such as the National Identity Register - on which the government plans to hold the personal data of every UK citizen - could lead to an over-intrusive state when combined with data sharing between government departments and services.Lord Erroll said: "With increased sharing of data, there is a greater risk of failure of public services due to the greater complexity of systems, but also people may become frightened of being caught."He added: "If you don't tell the DVLA of a change of address, after a month you're liable to a fine of £1,000 and it will be the same under the National Identity Register. I see a problem of linking up government departments and services, like law enforcement, that are seen as enforcers and those seen as helpers, like [social services]."If someone had, for example, notified their doctor of a change of address but forgotten to notify the DVLA and this resulted in a penalty, it could undermine public confidence in both bodies, according to Lord Erroll.He also said he was concerned about the possible data-mining implications of the scheme and added "the amount of fraud they will detect is probably less than they think".However, Sir David Varney, the Prime Minister's adviser on public-service transformation, said the nature of the data to be shared between government departments was still under discussion.

Most lawyers fail to check on their expert witnesses

Full Story:
Three out of four judges and lawyers make no checks on the qualifications of expert witnesses, whose evidence can be crucial to a finding of guilt or innocence, research suggests.
The first study of its kind shows that the training of expert witnesses to give evidence is still patchy and unregulated, creating a continuing risk of miscarriages of justice.
The research, by City University, London, comes after a High Court ruling on Friday that upheld findings of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council against Alan Williams, a Home Office pathologist. Dr Williams, 58, conducted post mortem examinations for both of the babies of Sally Clark, the solicitor who served three years for murdering her two sons until her conviction was quashed on appeal.
Penny Cooper, associate dean at the University, a barrister and a governor of the Expert Witnesses Institute, who conducted the research, said that nearly one in ten experts had no training at all and did not intend to undertake any. “The quality of expert evidence has been criticised in a number of recent, high-profile miscarriages of justice. This issue is inextricably linked with training, which is voluntary and unregulated,” she said.

The expert as judge and jury

Full Story:
After a host of miscarriages of justice based on discredited expert witnesses, calls are growing for radical reform of their use in court, writes Lois Rogers
Yet another woman was sent to prison last week, following expert evidence that she had shaken to death a baby in her care. Keran Henderson, a 42-year-old childminder, was said to have killed 11-month-old Maeve Sheppard, by shaking her so violently she was left blind and brain-damaged. The infant died in hospital a few days later.
The case has grim echoes of those of Sally Clark, Angela Cannings and Trupti Patel, all of whom were accused of killing their children only to be found innocent later. Clark, a solicitor, who was released from prison after serving three years, died last March as a result of psychological trauma and alcoholism caused by her ordeal.
At the Court of Appeal, two days after the judgment on Henderson, a retrial was ordered in the case of Barry George, the loner convicted of killing the television personality Jill Dando in 1999 with a single shot to the head. Expert testimony as to the significance of a particle of gunshot matter in his pocket is being challenged.
There has also been the recent conviction of the true killer of schoolgirl Lesley Molseed, 32 years after the event – and after Stefan Kiszko had served 16 years for the sexually motivated killing, even though medical evidence could have pointed out his infertility proved his innocence. Once again the review of the evidence threw a spotlight on the role of expert witnesses, whose testimony is often crucial in criminal cases but can be unreliable.
Our blind faith in scientific opinion makes us reluctant to question pronouncements by “experts”, but while the law requires everyone from plumbers to nurses to be trained, registered and checked, there is no such requirement for witnesses who may be pronouncing on matters of life and death in court.
A study by senior barrister Penny Cooper of City University in London, has shown that the majority of lawyers and judges do not bother to check the qualifications of experts they approach to bolster an aspect of their case. She also found a substantial number of the expert witnesses had undergone no training to understand their legal duty.
The disquiet this arouses has led to a clamour for legislation to require expert witnesses to be regulated. But how to do that without calling into question thousands of court decisions will not be an easy task.
There is already acute unease over the proliferation of parents convicted of causing cot deaths, shaking babies to death, or harming them by creating symptoms of fictitious illness.

Healing from Sexual Child Abuse is Possible

Full Story:
If you are having trouble with relationshipson the job, in your family; or experience low self-esteem, panic attacks, anxiety, depression, alcohol/drug abuse, nightmares, suicidal thoughts or attempts, shame, guilt, baseless crying, angry outbursts, inability to recognize your feelings, mood swings, emotional shut down, numbing out, arthritis/joint pain, chronic/acute fear, headaches/migraines, eating disorders, PMS, gastrointestinal/gynecological disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, MS or fibromyalgia, you are not alone. Many men and women experience this kind of pain. Many, if not most, do not know sexual abuse/incest is the cause of their emotional/ physical pain. They attribute these maladies to their inadequacy for the rigors of adult life or genetic abnormality.
Family violence research reveals sexual abuse is as high as 62% for females and 31% for males. Whether the abuse occurred once or several times is irrelevant, because the damage is incurred immediately. The damage is profound, extensive and pervasiveit is a soul injury. Time, money, pills, surgery, marriage, children, moving, jobs, divorce, perfectionism can not heal the pain.

Saved from fire tragedy

Full Story:
Police saved a child from the care of sex beast Arthur McElhill just days before he torched his family's home.
Sunday Life has learned that the vulnerable girl would almost certainly have been the EIGHTH victim of the alcoholic dad's Omagh inferno but for quick action by shocked police officers.
The cops decided to remove the child from McElhill's Lammy Crescent home after learning that Social Services had placed her in the care of a convicted sex offender and his partner.
Sunday Life understands that Social Services have launched an investigation into the tragedy and it is believed it will examine how the couple was granted permission to look after the child even though dad Arthur McElhill (39) was on the sex offenders' register.
It's understood that the girl was only in the family's home for a matter of weeks before the police acted. But a local source said police were horrified when they discovered the girl had been placed in the couple's care because they knew of his record.
"Thank God they acted to have her removed from the house otherwise this terrible tragedy could have been even worse," said the source.
Arthur McElhill, originally from Ederney, Fermanagh was a violent, unemployed drunk with a history of sex attacks on teenage girls.

STOP The 'Social Services' Taking Fran Lyon's New Born Baby

Full Story:
Please help stop the Social Services' and their intention to take Fran Lyons new born baby away from her, immediately after her birth, which is completely wrong and should not happen. The decision by Social Services is as a result of an assessment made by a paediatrician (who hasn't met Fran) that she may suffer, from Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.

Doctor David Southall Exposed

Full Story:
For many years David Southall has exacted misery upon the most vulnerable people in society, sick children and their parents. This blog will provide comment and evidence as to what Southall has done over the years and will not close until such times as he is arrested and charged with the crimes he has committed.
Visit The David Southall Exposed ‘Blog Site’
Watch The 2 Video’s On Exposing ‘Dr David Southall’
Video 1
The Baby Research Projects of Professor David Southall & Company
Interviews with Lawrence Alexander with parents Robin and Janet
"Babies were deprived of oxygen. I want to know what implications this has had for my health."
Video 2
Professor David Southall cover-up exposed
Interviews with Investigative journalist Brian Morgan and John Hemming MP

Did Social Services Ever Check Their Expert David Southall

Full Seory:
NO! They spent so much time digging into the past of those he accused, that they failed at every level to ensure that the person pointing the finger was qualified to do so. Independent? Couldn't see what was right under their noses, because doctors don't lie, do they! From The Sunday Times November 18, 2007 The expert as judge and jury After a host of miscarriages of justice based on discredited expert witnesses, calls are growing for radical reform of their use in court, writes Lois Rogers Yet another woman was sent to prison last week, following expert evidence that she had shaken to death a baby in her care. Keran Henderson, a 42-year-old childminder, was said to have killed 11-month-old Maeve Sheppard, by shaking her so violently she was left blind and brain-damaged. The infant died in hospital a few days later. The case has grim echoes of those of Sally Clark, Angela Cannings and Trupti Patel, all of whom were accused of killing their children only to be found innocent later. Clark, a solicitor, who was released from prison after serving three years, died last March as a result of psychological trauma and alcoholism caused by her ordeal. At the Court of Appeal, two days after the judgment on Henderson, a retrial was ordered in the case of Barry George, the loner convicted of killing the television personality Jill Dando in 1999 with a single shot to the head. Expert testimony as to the significance of a particle of gunshot matter in his pocket is being challenged. There has also been the recent conviction of the true killer of schoolgirl Lesley Molseed, 32 years after the event – and after Stefan Kiszko had served 16 years for the sexually motivated killing, even though medical evidence could have pointed out his infertility proved his innocence. Once again the review of the evidence threw a spotlight on the role of expert witnesses, whose testimony is often crucial in criminal cases but can be unreliable. Our blind faith in scientific opinion makes us reluctant to question pronouncements by “experts”, but while the law requires everyone from plumbers to nurses to be trained, registered and checked, there is no such requirement for witnesses who may be pronouncing on matters of life and death in court. A study by senior barrister Penny Cooper of City University in London, has shown that the majority of lawyers and judges do not bother to check the qualifications of experts they approach to bolster an aspect of their case. She also found a substantial number of the expert witnesses had undergone no training to understand their legal duty. The disquiet this arouses has led to a clamour for legislation to require expert witnesses to be regulated. But how to do that without calling into question thousands of court decisions will not be an easy task. There is already acute unease over the proliferation of parents convicted of causing cot deaths, shaking babies to death, or harming them by creating symptoms of fictitious illness. Henderson, for instance, a mother of two herself, a long-term childminder and stalwart volunteer of her local Beaver Scout group, was sentenced to three years in prison for shaking baby Maeve so violently that she was left with fatal brain damage, despite the fact there was no evidence of any “grip marks” on the child, which would normally be expected to accompany such an action. Her husband, a former police officer, has said she will appeal and hopes to create a campaign similar to that run by Sally Clark’s family, to try to prove his wife’s innocence. Many character witnesses spoke up for Henderson in court and the family has dozens of supporters in their home village of Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire. Some even believe her prosecution was only pursued because of the successful appeal by Roy Meadow, the expert paediatrician whose evidence led to the conviction of Sally Clark. Following the Clark case, in which Meadow quoted a completely erroneous statistic suggesting the chances of Clark’s babies having died naturally were one in 73m, he was struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC) for misconduct. The Court of Appeal agreed he had acted in good faith. In the meantime, Alan Williams, the Home Office pathologist who conducted post-mortems on Clark’s two infant sons, was less lucky. His appeal against a GMC finding of serious professional misconduct was rejected. Williams was accused of tailoring his diagnoses of the nature of the babies’ deaths to fit the police case against Clark. The GMC is currently hearing a claim of gross professional misconduct against paediatrician Dr David Southall. The council has received evidence alleging that Southall falsified his curriculum vitae. Southall’s evidence has figured highly in at least 50 criminal cases and possibly hundreds of family court cases held in secret, which have led to children being removed from their parents. Questions of how frequently babies really are shaken to death, and indeed if it is possible to do so, have divided medical opinion for some years. There have, however, been up to 200 convictions annually for related forms of violence against babies and young children. After Clark, Cannings and Patel, another bizarre case was overturned. Ian and Angela Gay, who had been convicted of poisoning their three-year-old adopted son with salt, were cleared when it was revealed the boy was suffering from a rare, and fatal, congenital abnormality. Recently, the attorney-general ordered a review of almost 300 criminal convictions and 30,000 family court proceedings where children were taken into care. Only four were referred to the Court of Appeal. This, according to critics, was a function of the way the review was done, with authorities being asked to review their own decisions. Social workers say the crusade to root out dangerous adults is to some extent a reaction to a previous era of regular criticism of their profession when children were left to die at the hands of their parents. Although some acknowledge the pendulum may now have swung too far, others are furious: “Do people think we spend all our time trying to break up families for no good reason?” said John Coughlan, a joint-president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services. “In comparison with the volume of cases, the number of errors is tiny. We never rely on expert witnesses alone.” Others argue that the opinion of expert witnesses is often the decisive factor. And as we have seen most recently with Barry George, it is not just child murder cases that have turned on such evidence. Last year the Home Office took the unprecedented step of holding a disciplinary tribunal against Michael Heath, one of its most senior forensic pathologists: 20 charges against him were upheld. One man was subsequently cleared of murder, and numerous other convictions have been called into question. A spate of other convictions came from evidence supplied by Paula Lannas, another Home Office forensic specialist who was the subject of a long-delayed disciplinary hearing that collapsed because those investigating her said they had a conflict of interest. Not only has Lannas been deprived of an opportunity to clear her name, but dozens of prisoners who claim they were victims of her errors have been unable to get the evidence reviewed. Police forensic scientist Peter Ablett, who is now chief executive of the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners, points out there are only three ways to prove a crime: a reliable eyewitness, a confession, or forensics. The advent of DNA technology and other advances in recent years has brought increasing reliance on forensics, yet only about 3,000 of the estimated 8,000 expert witnesses operating are members of the council and signed up to its code of practice. He said many of those who are not are unaware that their duty is to give impartial evidence to the court, not to bolster the case of their paymaster. City University’s Cooper, who is also a governor of the Expert Witness Institute, was concerned to discover during her research that not only have one in five experts undergone no training to understand this duty, but one in 10 was so arrogant they said they saw no need for it. “There should be a requirement for them to be trained, and there should be rules requiring judges and lawyers to consider their credentials before accepting them as expert witnesses,” she said. Such a provision cannot come soon enough. A review is still going on of 700 cases in which bogus forensic scientist Gene Morrison gave evidence. Morrison, 48, from Manchester who was sentenced to five years for fraud in February, admitted he pretended to be an expert witness and bought his qualifications on the internet because it “seemed easier” than getting real ones.

Will Social Services Investigate David Southall for Child Abuse

Full Story:
The document At This Link, relates to a research project that Southall claimed he needed no ethical approval for - he did require ethical approval and got it at the Royal Brompton - on transferring to UHNS he claimed it "was standard treatment" thus negating the need for informed consent - the child this applies to was burnt by the sensors and when the mother complained - she was then accused of MSbP and the child was removed from her care. The child was eventually returned upon proof that moher was not causing the child's problems - the reasoning Southall gave for mother being MSbP "she was bought up in care herself"....

Experts keep warning us of the overcrowding crisis in UK jails. Don't switch off - they're right

Full Stoty:
People must be sick and tired of hearing about the crisis in our prisons. Many must think that things have been exaggerated, it can't have been that bad for that long, or that the prison service has simply found a way of coping with the pressure it is under, somehow or another it will always manage to keep the lid on. After all, the prison system as a whole has been overcrowded in every year since 1994. Now though, as the Lord Chief Justice has just warned, the social and economic costs are become just too great to bear. It's come to the crunch on prison costs and prison numbers.
When you start talking numbers the scale of the problem quickly becomes evident. Tough political rhetoric, and the failure to take into account the impactof new legislation and haphazard changes in sentencing policy, has driven the prison population up at a dramatic pace. While the number of people found guilty by the courts has remained largely constant over recent years, many of those who, for a similar offence would have received a fine or a community sentence, are now being sentenced to custody, and for longer and longer terms. Creating new offences, introducing a raft of mandatory penalties and then, under the Criminal Justice Act (2003) bringing in a new indeterminate sentence has led to massive inflation in sentencing.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Dr David Southall - What He Didn't Want You To See!

Full Story and Video's,
All 11 Parts Of The Video Are Here!

Leading paediatrician Professor David Southall was been found guilty of serious professional misconduct after accusing solicitor Sally Clark's husband of murdering their children.
The General Medical Council has said the doctor can continue to practise, but has said he cannot work in child protection.
But its decision not to remove the paediatrician from the medical register has been challenged by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, which oversees the work of regulatory bodies such as the GMC.
A High Court judge is to rule whether the GMC acted correctly.
Professor Southall provokes strong reactions.
Some - like Steve and Sally Clark - believe he should be removed from the medical register.
During the GMC hearing, Richard Tyson, counsel for Mr Clark said Professor Southall was an arrogant, dogmatic and "very dangerous doctor" who did not deserve his place in the medical profession.
But many child health experts laud him for his pioneering research into Munchausen's syndrome by proxy, in which adults induce or fabricate illnesses in their children.
He is also credited with important research into cot death, which over-turned findings that the problem was due to the gaps in babies' breathing while they sleep.
The GMC hearing also heard testimonials from 85 people including surgeons, nurses, social workers and a judge, who praised Professor Southall's work, and who said they believed he should be bale to continue working.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

UK Government Giving Drugs To Children To Control Them (All 3 Parts)

PANORAMA Investigates NHS Treatment Of The Bahavioural Disorder 'ADHD' Questioning Whether The Drugs Priscribed To Sufferers Are Of Any Benefit To Them

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Justice for Families Lobby 12-11-07 John Hemming MP (All 6 Parts)

Families for Justice, John Hemming MP,
Strategy for change, Mackenzie Friends, Lay Advisor, Support Issues, Capacity Law, Medical and Other Experts, House of Lords, Habeas Corpus, Solicitors, Court Judgements, Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Family Members.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Doctors 'failing to spot child abuse'

Full Story:
Hospitals and social workers continue to allow suspicious injuries to slip through the net Doctors and social workers are failing children who end up in hospital after abuse or neglect by their parents, a government-funded inquiry has found. Some are discharged from casualty departments and allowed to go home, despite suspicious injuries such as a black eye or broken arm, because they are not identified as being at risk, states a report by the National Children's Bureau (NCB) charity. Doctors and nurses say specialist social workers are overworked and often reluctant to intervene, even if it is thought children are likely to suffer further harm. Social workers, for their part, told researchers they were 'frustrated with medical staff who were not prepared to make a decision about whether a child's injury was accidental or not' because they did not want to be the one that 'labelled' a family as abusive. The NCB report says that many hospitals and social workers have not implemented changes brought in after the horrific abuse and murder of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie in 2000. It comes as new figures show that hospitals in England treat on average 471 children every week who have sustained deliberate injuries. There were 24,497 such cases among under-18s in 2005-06, involving injuries such as a black eye or broken arm. They involved a total of 21,334 children, some of whom were seen more than once. The identities of those thought responsible for the assaults were not recorded, but they include other young people as well as parents, relatives and childminders. The study paints a picture of tension, mistrust and disputes between professionals who are meant to raise the alarm if they suspect abuse or neglect. Its findings indicate that lessons have not been learnt widely enough since staff at two London hospitals were criticised by Lord Laming's inquiry in 2003 into the Climbie case over failures which meant that two opportunities to protect her were missed when she came in for treatment. Last week James Craig, 26, and Sharma Dookhooah, 25, of Romford, Essex, were each jailed for five years after admitting causing or allowing the death of their 10-month-old son Neo. Their Old Bailey trial heard that there had been a series of failings by police, doctors and social workers who knew about the boy's 'derelict' home life but did not intervene, despite a number of warnings. The NCB's year-long survey of child protection arrangements at 130 hospitals also found that fewer than half had a dedicated team of children's social workers based on-site, even though the Department of Health said in 2003 that they should. 'Some children could slip through the net because of that. They could have their injury treated but their underlying abuse may go unnoticed and not investigated,' said Di Hart, one of the two co-authors of the report, A Shared Responsibility: Safeguarding arrangements between hospitals and children's social services

OAP abused girls

Full Story:
A PENSIONER who sexually abused two little girls has been set free by a court but only to give social services time to organise care for his 94-year-old mother while he is in prison. Next week Alan Westmorland, 67, will return to Carlisle Crown Court to be locked up pending his final sentence, which the judge warned him on Thursday would be substantial. Westmorland, a former taxi driver who lives in Broad Street, Carlisle, had denied a total of 10 charges. But he was convicted of eight of them six charges of indecently assaulting one girl and two more of indecency with each. He was cleared of two charges of indecently assaulting the second girl. During the trial the girls, who are now in their teens, told how he regularly abused them when they were under 10, although they only told the police about it last year. After the verdicts Westmorlands barrister, Keith Thomas, pleaded for bail as an act of mercy, because social services needed at least a week to organise care for his mother. She knows he is in court but does not understand the seriousness of his predicament, he said. Judge Peter Hughes QC allowed Westmorland bail for a week, but only on condition that he returns to court to be locked up next Thursday. Because of the nature of the offences, and concerns about how he may react to his position, I would not normally grant bail, the judge said.

Pregnant woman's 'hounded out' claim

Full Story:
A PREGNANT woman last night said she had been hounded out of the region by council bosses who plan to take her child from her within 15 minutes of its birth.
Fran Lyon yesterday left her home in St Hildas Road, Hexham, after receiving what she described as a horrific birth plan for her child from Northumberland County Council social services.
The 22-year-old has been told that her baby must be taken from her as she could potentially suffer from a mental illness that could cause her to harm the infant.
Now, at 32 weeks, she has written to the county council informing them of where she has gone and that she intends to engage with her new local authority, in the Midlands.
Her legal team are due to meet with social services bosses at her new authority in a bid to transfer the case.
Ms Lyon said: I am really disappointed at having to leave my home and I am really upset with the way this has been handled.
It is a really sad indictment of a local authority in the way that they have dealt with an expectant mother, who has tried to cooperate, with some of the most extreme measures imaginable.
Ms Lyon said she made her decision to move to the Midlands after receiving a copy of her birth plan from social services earlier this week.
It outlines how the baby girl, who Fran has named Molly, must not be breast-fed and must have contact with her for no more than 10-15 minutes after she is born.
Ms Lyon said: I have been told that I am not to breast feed my child in case I try to poison her. As far as I am concerned the birth plan is abusive and I will just not stand for it.
It would leave Molly isolated from anybody who loves her from the first few minutes of her life. It is barbaric and it deprives her of a basic right.

Ministers expect tough time ahead

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Health and Social Services and Education are bracing themselves for difficult times following the release of the Budget. Health minister Peter Roffey said his departments budget was the best he could expect but the increase in the medium term was not sustainable for future health care spending. In the UK, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in the Queens speech, said that the National Health Service over the next few years would go up by RPI plus 4% each year. We just dont have that amount of money available to spend and over time we are spending less per head of the population on health than the UK its going to be a struggle, said Deputy Roffey. On a positive note, it is better than we thought it was going to be a few months ago. The money is sufficient to carry out what we call level running but it will be very difficult to introduce any new services or new treatments other than what has been in the news the last few days 'an Pfund805,000 windfall allocated for cervical cancer vaccinations and colorectal screening programme', he said. Deputy Roffey said he was extremely relieved that Treasury and Resources had listened to his departments concerns about the off-island budget. The really positive thing is the agreement to ring fence the off-island budget, he said. We have been extremely good at keeping down our on-island budget, but our off-island expenses have risen considerably and that is something that is completely out of our control. Its a huge relief for us in terms of being able to control our own destiny in that the off-island expenses will come from a central fund, he said. Health has been forced in the past to take out of its on-island budget to supplement rises in off-island costs.

'Crack addict' parents jailed for baby's death

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The parents of a 10-month-old boy who died after suffering a "litany of injuries" which they tried to hide by smothering him in baby powder have each been jailed for five years.
Neo Craig died from massive internal bleeding after being punched in the stomach by his drug addict father, James Craig, as he lashed out at the child's mother on Christmas Eve last year.
The Old Bailey heard Neo died after a string of failings by police, doctors and social services, who were aware of his "derelict" home life, but did not intervene despite a number of warning signs.
Neo, who had been placed on the child protection register, suffered 10 severe injuries in the months before his death, including fractures of several ribs and a fractured right thigh caused by twisting.
His parents were spending Pfund250 a day on their crack cocaine habit, funded by a Pfund60,000 inheritance which his mother, qualified nurse Sharma Dookhooha, had received.
The baby tested positive for cocaine when he was born but the results were twice ignored by doctors.
The court heard he had been seen by a health visitor on Oct 16 when he was recovering from fractures to his ribs and thigh.
Richard Whittam, prosecuting, said: "He was covered from neck to ankle in white baby powder and the visitor was unable to tell if there were any marks on the body."
When Dookhooha was asked why there was so much talc on his skin, she replied: "I like the smell of the powder."
A serious case review was launched following his death, which made recommendations to improve training for social workers dealing with families where drug abuse was taking place.
Scrap dealer Craig, 26, and Dookhooha, 25, from Romford, Essex, admitted causing or allowing the death of their son at an earlier hearing.
Craig admitted lashing out with a "clenched fist" at his girlfriend during a row, while she was holding Neo, accidentally striking the baby and causing fatal internal bleeding to his stomach.

I didn't like my adopted daughter so I gave her back

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The moment Julie Jarman set eyes on Zahina she was smitten. The seven-year-old girl from Tanzania was desperate for a loving home and Julie felt sure that she and her 11-year-old daughter could provide it.
In turn Zahina would become the second daughter Julie longed for. "When I met her for the first time, she was a bit shy. I saw her hiding behind her social worker's skirt, peeping out at me with an enormous grin on her face. She was gorgeous.
"She was with her foster parents in Somerset. Laura and I spent a week with them, taking things very slowly.
"One day we took her to the park and one day we went swimming and I remember seeing Laura and Zahina teasing each other in the pool and thinking I had seen a glimpse of how things were going to be."
It was settled that Zahina would come to live with Julie, a programme manager for Oxfam, at her house in Manchester in July 2005. Julie was thrilled and spent the final days before her arrival getting everything ready.
She decorated her room with an African theme, she made curtains from some cloth she'd bought in Africa, and hung two framed batiks of African women on the wall.
She even stocked up on oats so she could make a similar porridge to one Tanzanian children are given called uji, which is made from maize-meal.
"She didn't seem upset at leaving her foster parents and was quite excited about the move," says Julie.
But almost from the moment she arrived Julie sensed a barrier between them. "Zahina would chat to me and ask questions about this and that, and on the surface it was fine.
"But I sensed that at a deeper level she was resisting me - I felt she was waiting for her mother to come back. Before she went to bed at night she would give me a hug but there was no warmth there. She was going through the motions.
"Often when I asked her to do something she would do it as the Tanzanians would say, 'kichwa upande' - unwillingly, or holding her head to one side."
As the weeks passed the house became filled with unspoken tensions, resentments and discord. Most worryingly of all, Julie's own daughter Laura began to withdraw into herself. In fact Zahina seemed to go out of her way to try to upset her.
"Once when I asked her to remove her mud-covered boots, she marched over to Laura, who was sitting in front of the fire playing Patience and parked her filthy foot right on top of the cards.
"Another time the three of us were supposed to go and see an African band but Laura refused to come because she was upset about something, but wouldn't say what.
"During the interval Zahina said to me, 'Laura was really upset, wasn't she?' and I could see she was really pleased that Laura was upset and that she felt she'd driven a wedge between Laura and me. There was something deeply unpleasant about the way she said it."
Her behaviour was a far cry from what Julie had hoped for. Indeed on paper, she reasoned, Zahina had been the perfect choice.

Porn man is struck off the care register

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A SOCIAL worker who downloaded child porn has been struck off the care register.
In June, Paul Neill, aged 33, of Pencoed Avenue, Cefn Fforest, was handed a three-year supervision order and a sex offender treatment programme after pleading guilty to downloading indecent images of children.
The judge at Newport Crown Court told Merthyr Tydfil Council worker Neill the images he had were disturbing and exploitative, and banned him from working with children.
Now he cannot even see his own children except by arrangement with his former colleagues in the social services.
Merthyr Tydfil Council suspended Neill when the allegations came to light in September 2006, and sacked him on his conviction but the authority could not bar him from social work for life.
This week the Care Council for Wales met to decide whether Neill should be removed from the Social Care Register altogether.
He asked the panel to suspend his registration rather than remove it altogether, but panel chairwoman Mutale Nyoni said: The committee has decided it is necessary to remove your name from the register.

Solicitor jailed for snatching own baby daughter from social workers

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A solicitor who snatched his baby from two care workers before going on the run has been jailed for 20 months.
Jonathan Phillips, 40, punched the two women, one of whom was heavily pregnant, before grabbing his daughter and speeding away in his car.
The child had been taken into care because of concerns over his wife's mental health - although the couple insist she does not present a risk.
They were allowed to visit their daughter for two hours every day at a family contact centre in King's Lynn, Norfolk. But Phillips lashed out because he felt staff were treating her too roughly.
He shouted, "Take your hands off my baby" before overturning a table, attacking the women and seizing his child, who was four months old at the time.
Phillips, a soldier in the Territorial Army, fled with his wife Erica and the child, who cannot be named for legal reasons. They were stopped on the M6 near Birmingham later the same day.
Phillips, of Downham Market, Norfolk, was sent to prison after admitting kidnap and two charges of assault causing actual bodily harm.
Before he was sentenced he said: "I was acting under extreme provocation. Social services had taken our baby into care under dubious circumstances and whenever we visited her, the staff handled her roughly, overfed her and generally ill-treated her.
"I lashed out in the heat of the moment. I could see my family crumbling before me.
"Now the tragedy is that she looks set to be adopted and we will not be able to see her again until she is 18."

'I will regret it till the day I die'

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The accidental shooting that tore apart the family of Natasha Peniston was a tragedy waiting to happen in a community scarred by guns, crime and poverty
The house where I meet Natasha Peniston has a jumbled, lived-in feel, and the children's drawings on the walls form a poignant backdrop to the tale she unfolds. She says the "safe" accommodation social services found for her doesn't feel safe, and that she cannot bear to return to the council house where, earlier this year, her family were crushed by tragedy.
She is thin and says she has lost 13kg (2st) since the incident. She looks younger than her 33 years, except for her eyes, which have seen too much for their time. As we spoke, she was waiting to be sentenced for possessing the firearm that killed her 12-year-old daughter, Kamilah. The trigger was pulled by her son, Kasha, then aged 16. Peniston looks directly at me and says she wants to tell the truth because "as bad as it is, it is the truth".
That the death was accidental is not in dispute, but most people, on learning that the mother had allowed a loaded handgun to be hidden in the family's garden, would question her parental fitness. Most people, however, do not live in environments where guns and threats of violence are part of the background. That Peniston made a gross error of judgment is also not a matter for debate, but perhaps it is relevant that she was trapped in a hard, unforgiving place.
Last week, Peniston was jailed for three years and Kasha, now 17, received a two-year term in a young offender institution. The judge accepted that the killing was a "dreadful accident", brought about because Kasha had been playing with the gun. Passing sentence, he said he would not impose the mandatory jail terms - five years for the mother, three for the son - because there were "exceptional circumstances" to the case and the pair had sustained the lifelong punishment of the loss of a daughter and "well loved sister". He accepted that both were "horrified and truly contrite".
On the evening of April 30, Peniston was on a coach, returning from London. She had left Manchester at seven in the morning to attend a funeral. On the journey home, she had phoned and been assured that her family were well. Home was Gorton, east Manchester, and her family consisted of seven-year-old twin girls, Keira and Kwamaela, 12-year-old Kamilah, and Kasha, who was in charge of his three sisters. Peniston says she had no qualms about leaving her son to look after the three girls: "He thought the world of his sisters and would look after them at the drop of a hat."
Then came the call, from a friend, telling her there had been an accident with a gun at home and that Kamilah had been badly injured. The nightmare that had been at the back of her mind was now a terrible reality. Peniston knew there was a gun at her house. It belonged to a man she knew, her former boyfriend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and it had been buried in her garden for several days.

Children with complex health and social care needs

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Children with complex health and social care needs (CHCN) have the same "ordinary" wishes and needs as other children. What matters most to them is being able to live at home, go to school, spend time with friends and participate in leisure and community activities with family and peers. This is also important to their families. These are some of the findings of a forthcoming Scie Knowledge Review which identifies what is known about the social care needs of children with complex healthcare needs and their families, and about the services designed to meet those needs
There is no agreed definition of complex health needs among policy makers or professionals. The definition used in the knowledge review cuts across a number of other categorisations - including children who are disabled, children with special educational needs and children with life limiting or life threatening conditions - but is flexible enough to allow for the fact that children with CHCN might fit all or none of these categories.
Much research, policy and guidance is based on the assumption that needs for health, social or educational services can be separated out and provided by different agencies. However, the research into the subject clearly shows that this assumption does not tally with the experiences of children with CHCN and their families. Their health care needs are so much part of their everyday lives that they are inextricably linked with other needs. Dividing needs into separate categories is, therefore, untenable and the structure of the service system creates additional difficulties.
The research into this topic strongly supports a "family centred" approach, so that the needs of all family members, including siblings, are taken into account. There is, however, inevitable tension between child-centred and family-centred practice, including the potentially conflicting needs of siblings. Further research is needed to discover how practitioners can best manage these conflicts.
The study also points to the need to ensure flexibility and responsiveness to each family to allow for the accommodation of family events, emergencies and preferences, including about where and when health needs should be met.
Practitioners need flexibility to work out their roles and responsibilities, so that any one professional can respond appropriately. However, current service structure tends to reinforce professional boundaries. Providers need to think about how they can change professional roles to allow such flexibility and ensure the training of staff to the level and range of skill required.
There is strong evidence that the way in which professionals provide services is as important as the service itself. Parents feel emotionally supported by helpful and compassionate relationships. Organisations need to pay attention to how services are delivered and support the inter-personal skills required.

Desperate dad jailed over baby kidnap

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A solicitor who kidnapped and went on the run with his own baby after assaulting two care workers has been jailed, faces a career in tatters and is unlikely to see his daughter again. Criminal lawyer Jonathan Phillips admitted the crimes at Norwich Crown Court - but claimed he was driven to it by the unfair actions of Norfolk social services and the mistreatment of the seven-month-old by staff at a supervision centre. Judge Paul Downes jailed him for 20 months on Tuesday but the case could not be reported until today after the EDP successfully applied for reporting restrictions to be altered. The court heard how Phillips flew into a rage during a routine trip to visit his daughter at the centre in Norfolk in May. After telling staff not to treat the girl so roughly he grabbed her, punched and pushed the two workers out of the way and ran from the centre. He fled at speed in his car but was traced by police who detected his mobile phone signal and was arrested later that day nearly 125 miles away on the M6 at Birmingham. The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been taken into foster care due to concerns over Mrs Phillips' mental health. However, the parents claim they have independent medical evidence suggesting such concerns were misplaced. Phillips, 40, of Lynn Road, Downham Market, said they were continually treated with disrespect throughout proceedings and were growing increasingly desperate over their daughter's welfare. The couple are currently trying to regain custody through a civil action but social services have indicated their intention to have the girl, who remains in foster care, adopted. He pleaded guilty to two charges of ABH and one of kidnap. Prosecutor Nick Methold told the court that Phillips shouted take your hands of my baby seconds before the incident. The staff, one of whom was heavily pregnant, suffered cuts and bruises. Mark Shelley, mitigating, described Phillips as a well respected and popular solicitor who was also a member of the Territorial Army. It was not a planned snatch, it was a culmination of emotions as he could see his daughter slipping away from him, he added.

Britons arrested as police smash global paedophile ring that abused to order

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Key aspects of Swansea Council's childrens social services have been criticised as poor by the Care & Social Services Inspectorate Wales. A paedophile ring that filmed tailor-made attacks for individual abusers has been broken by police in 28 countries. Officers arrested 93 people in connection with the case, about half of whom were living in Britain, and rescued 23 victims, all girls. Police gave warning that both numbers would rise in the next few months. Officers seized thousands of computers, videos and photographs and revealed that they found 1.5 million sexually explicit video and picture files on one computer system alone. Operation Koala began last year after a child-abuse video, made in Belgium, was discovered in Australia. Police arrested a 42-year-old Italian and have accused him of selling on the internet more than 150 videos of young girls being abused. Police said that his website had been running for 18 months and generated considerable profits from about 2,500 customers. The man allegedly filmed the abusive material himself, mainly in his private studio in Ukraine, although some material was filmed in Belgium and the Netherlands. One of the videos allegedly shows a father abusing his daughters aged 9 and 11. Customers were allegedly able to order tailor-made videos and some even travelled to the studio in order to watch and record the abuse. They also ordered children to wear suggestive lingerie and instructed them on how to pose. Among those arrested were several people in trusted positions, including school teachers and swimming instructors, authorities said. Italian police forwarded the material, including customer details, to Europol and Eurojust, which coordinates cross-border operations. The material was then sent to the countries where customers were identified. Some of the material was passed to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre in Britain, which oversees intelligence and information from overseas on child sex-abuse crimes. The centre analysed and developed the files and passed details of individual suspects to local police forces. Jim Gamble, chief executive of the centre, said: Yet again we see the technology used by paedophiles to facilitate child abuse now turned against them as a result of coordinated and effective international law enforcement cooperation. Operation Koala uncovered the true meaning of online child abuse. In this case, the exchanging of images in which real children were subjected to horrific sexual abuse, often to order.

Welsh care regulator slams Swansea children's services

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Key aspects of Swansea Council's childrens social services have been criticised as poor by the Care & Social Services Inspectorate Wales.
A review of the department by the CSSIW found significant weaknesses in access to services, assessment, care management and review and protection arrangements. The range and quality of services was mainly good as were efforts to promote independence.
Inspectors reported that on the whole the quality of assessments was poor. Children were not routinely seen or spoken to, their demeanour and behaviour not observed and their parents not described. Some less urgent cases were given a light-touch administrative assessment to save time.
A worrying number of complex and serious cases went unallocated for lengthy periods, including some children on the child protection register, resulting in delays in providing services, drifts in childrens achievement plans and families becoming disengaged.
Investigations into allegations of significant harm were not always thorough or completed. Some risk assessments were superficial, with little information gathering and historical concerns not properly taken into account.
Service users and staff were particularly critical of the long waiting lists to access family support services such as respite care for disabled people.
Problems were exacerbated by significant recruitment and retention problems for childrens social workers, with a considerable number acting up in posts temporarily, the report says. Frontline staff were also critical of the lack of support through supervision and case audit from managers.
Inspectors called on management and council members to address failings over referrals, unallocated cases and the workforce shortage as a matter of urgency and to improve scrutiny arrangements.
Chief inspector Rob Pickford said: I have made clear to the chief executive and director of social services my expectations for improving services and have put in place arrangements to monitor progress at quarterly intervals. The authority has much work to do to improve its childrens services.

City accused of letting down vulnerable children

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VULNERABLE children are not getting the protection they need from social services in one of Wales cities, a damning report has found. A routine inspection by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales has revealed deep-seated concerns about the standard of service provided to children in Swansea. It found that considerable improvements are needed, especially in the core areas of assessment, care management and protecting vulnerable children. Gwenda Thomas, deputy minister for social services, said, This report has highlighted the gravity of the problems in childrens services in Swansea. The report and inspection comes after Swansea Council was heavily criticised in the wake of 13-month-old Aaron Gilberts murder in May 2005. His mother Rebecca Lewis, 21, from Townhill, became the first British woman to be jailed for a new charge of familial homicide doing nothing to protect her child from attack, in December 2006. She is serving six years. Her partner, Andrew Lloyd, 23, who battered Aaron to death, is serving at least 24 years for murder. A report published earlier this year revealed a catalogue of errors and said that social workers failed properly to follow up child abuse allegations. The Care and Social Services Inspectorate report, published yesterday, follows an inspection of Swanseas social services department in March and April. Its subsequent report found that some assessments were poor and children were not being seen as they should.

Adoption myths linked to shortage

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Public attitudes towards adoption are 40 years out of date, according to new research.
A study carried out for the British Association for Adoption and Fostering found that a minority (29 per cent) of people knew that most children seeking new homes had suffered neglect or abuse, while 41 per cent of respondents still thought that mothers put up their babies for adoption when they were born.
In reality, most children awaiting adoption have been removed from their homes by social workers because of emotional or physical neglect or abuse. Few are under the age of one by the time they are approved for adoption.
Until the 1960s, thousands of mothers gave up their babies for adoption, but this is now rare and there is a strong emphasis on keeping children with their natural parents if possible.
The association is concerned about a shortage of adoptive parents. This year 3,300 children were adopted, compared with 3,700 in 2006.
Have Your Say!
Proove these figures - show us proof that most children awaiting adoption have been removed from their homes by social workers because of emotional or physical neglect or abuse.

Are 'terrorist groomers' warping our kids?

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In turning terrorism into a child protection issue, where we must shield fragile youth from sleazy al-Qaeda, Britain has abandoned the battle of ideas. For some time now, the arguments on terrorism put forward by Western governments have exposed a paralysis of the political imagination. Officials issue statements that implicitly acknowledge that they have little idea of who or what constitutes the enemy. It seems that the conventional Hollywood caricature of a ruthless, professional, amoral maniac is no longer sufficient to cover todays disturbing phenomenon of the homegrown terrorist. In recent times, British officials have tried to harness public fears and anxiety about paedophilia as a way of explaining the threat from Al-Qaeda: they have talked about the strangers in this terrorist outfit, and the danger that they pose to ordinary people and their children. Now, Jonathan Evans, head of the British intelligence agency MI5, has used his first public speech to argue that the war on terrorism has effectively turned into a child protection issue. It seems that Evans and the rest of Britains security apparatus are most concerned about sleazy Al-Qaeda predators who prey on vulnerable Muslim children and groom them to do their dirty work. According to Evans, speaking yesterday at a gathering of newspaper editors in Manchester, England, Britain faces a steady flow of new recruits to the extremist cause (1). And since many of these new recruits are apparently children, the security services will have to draw on the expertise and techniques of the child protection industry in order to confront the threat of the new terrorism. As a country, we are rightly concerned to protect children from exploitation in other areas. We need to do the same in relation to violent extremism, said Evans. He continued: As I speak, terrorists are methodically and intentionally targeting young people and children in this country they are radicalising, indoctrinating and grooming young, vulnerable people to carry out acts of terrorism. This presentation of potential terror recruits as vulnerable isolated children reveals more about the disorientation within officialdom than it does about the reality of terrorism. Instead of asking the question What it is about the terrorists ideas that might attract a youthful following and why are we so inept at influencing these young people to take a different path?, the authorities have diagnosed the problem as one of immature vulnerability amongst potential future terrorists. Last week, the UK secretary of state for communities, Hazel Blears, announced that Pfund70million would be spent on training Muslim role models to counter the influence of terrorist groomers and to help imans support their vulnerable charges (2). Blears imagines that these vulnerable charges are similar to the stereotype of the lonely and isolated child as depicted in child protection literature. In some cases, people are isolated from family and friends, indoctrinated and manipulated within a matter of months, she claimed. And like real-life paedophiles, these terrorist groomers are apparently lurking everywhere you turn on the World Wide Web.

Victoria ClimbiƩ Foundation head calls for child protection probe

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A leading campaigner is demanding a public inquiry into the child protection system, claiming that radical reforms prompted by the death of Victoria Climbie have been ineffective. Mor Dioum, director of the Victoria Climbie Foundation UK, said there had been no discernable improvements, almost seven years after the eight-year-olds death despite a public inquiry by Lord Laming, which led to Every Child Matters and the Children Act 2004. He pointed to three child deaths in London alone over the past seven months, in Haringey, Westminster and Hackney, as evidence that the system continued to fail children. Recent cases almost mirror Victoria Climbie. Its unacceptable given the work and reforms that have taken place over the last seven years. After every child protection disaster we hear the cliche that lessons will be learned but they are empty words, he argued. I am really fed up with hearing that the issue is resources. It cannot continued to be used as excuse when children are dying, added Dioum. He called on the government broaden the scope of serious case reviews to ensure that families were involved in investigations. Sadly the most important people are not given the opportunity to have their input. My view is that this is a violation of ones civil liberties, said Dioum. He also urged the government to design a legal protocol to force agencies to share information. We must clear away the conflict of interest so that children can be seen and heard unequivocally, he added. He told delegates at a conference organised by the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect in London last week that agencies operated with complacency and secrecy and that recent failures were not unique or unprecedented.

Public service 'rise' condemned

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Council leaders have warned of cuts to key frontline services despite a Welsh Assembly Government promise of more money for public services. Announcing his draft budget on Monday, Finance Minister Andrew Davies outlined Pfund3.64bn new public service investment over the next three years. The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) called its 2.2% rise "derisory". It warned of job losses and council tax pressures but Mr Davies said councils had been funded "generously" for years. Before the draft budget announcement, opposition parties had warned services could be cut as the assembly government was funding too many initiatives. Tighter spending limits set by the UK Treasury also added to fears. Although more money will be spent on public services, the increase is not as great as in previous years. An extra Pfund1.2bn has been promised for health services over the next three years. There will be Pfund120m spent on childcare, and Pfund155m on transport. By 2011, public spending will be in excess of Pfund16 billion - it is already double the budget of the assembly government in 1999. It is the first budget under the new coalition government and includes promises made in the the Labour-Plaid deal, such as free laptops for primary school pupils. There is no money for this in the first year, although Pfund300,000 was promised for 2009/10, and another Pfund400,000 the following year. Mr Davies said a later announcement by minister Jane Davidson would be made on the pledge of Pfund5,000 for first-time buyers, "targeted on those most in need." This is part of spending on affordable housing of Pfund30m. He told BBC Radio Wales that as well as promising extra cash, there were plans for more efficient spending. The Finance Minister said: "It's a balance between very significant additional funding, Pfund3.64bn over the next three years, but also making sure that we get the best value for the Welsh pound.

HATE 4 HAIN (Fathers 4 Justice)

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Fathers' fury at Minister's crackdown Action group plans attack on his home Fathers 4 Justice have vowed to attack minister Peter Hain's home if he declares war on absent dads. The Work and Pensions Secretary will unveil strict new parenting laws in this week's Queen's Speech. But the controversial dads' rights army have promised to respond by HANDCUFFING him, SUPERGLUING his door locks and SCALING his roof. The 7,000-strong group - which once hurled flour at Tony Blair in the Commons - has already sent Mr Hain 80 pairs of pants. And leader Matt O'Connor raged: "If he won't talk to us then we are going to his home to talk to him. Peter Hain is the minister for pain. We are going to turn the tables on him and use his methods." Mr O'Connor was referring to Mr Hain's anti-apartheid campaign when he was leader of the Young Liberals in 1968. A tour by the South African rugby team was disrupted by pitch invasions, orange smoke bombs and gluing the locks of players' hotel rooms. "If that was good enough for a Labour minister then it's good enough for us," said Mr O'Connor. The new powers will be announced on Tuesday. They will come into force when the disastrous Child Support Agency is replaced by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission next year. It will be able to impose curfews on fathers who do not pay for their kids, confiscate passports and take cash direct from their banks. Dads also face being banned from driving if they refuse to pay maintenance.


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Tormented Heather Mills may be questioned by social services over her claims that she considered suicide.
Child protection chiefs are set to investigate after her astonishing TV rant about her divorce battle with Sir Paul McCartney.
Stunned viewers heard Heather say she considered taking her own life - leaving daughter Beatrice, four, to be brought up by the ex-Beatle.
Heather, 39, will be asked to explain any suicidal thoughts and will be offered support by health experts in East Sussex, where she lives.
Health visitors have to act if a mother caring for a child under five mentions suicide. A senior health visitor in Sussex said last night: "There is a duty of care. We will investigate the claims that a woman has considered taking her own life and decide whether these claims can be substantiated.
"If there are grounds for concern we will decide on the next course of action."
Heather said in a GMTV interview last Wednesday: "I considered killing myself because I thought if I am dead she (Beatrice) can be safe with her father."
Her voice cracking with emotion, she said: "I've been close to suicide. I'm so upset I've had worse press than a paedophile or a murderer and I've done nothing but charity for 20 years."
Her rants on TV in Britain and America have raised fears about her state of mind.
She claimed Macca, 65, was to blame for their split and had "failed" to protect her and their daughter.
Sources close to Sir Paul say he was astonished by the attacks. He is said to be "deeply concerned" about their impact on Beatrice.
Heather has been warned she could even lose custody of the tot as a result of her outbursts.
She claimed that she has yet to be offered a divorce settlement by Sir Paul.
But sources close to Macca insist he is prepared to offer Heather a "generous" deal - if she agrees never to discuss their marriage publicly.


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A MOTHER whose baby was put up for adoption against her wishes is appealing to the High Court to win her child back. Rachel Pullen says she was not given a fair chance by Nottingham City Council after they decided she was unable to care for her daughter. A psychiatrist appointed by the city council concluded Rachel, 23, from Aspley, was not fit to instruct her own solicitor.

RAD - the Return of a Nightmare

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By Charles Pragnell 3 November 2007
An increasing number of parents are reporting that paediatricians at a teaching hospital in a particular city in the North of England are again using the Reflex Anal Dilatation test as a means of examining their children for sexual abuse. RAD gained notoriety when it was used by two paediatricians in Cleveland, also in the north of England, in 1987 and led to a nightmare of pain and suffering for 121 children and their families. Organised gangs of social workers and police have again descended on families and removed children solely on the basis of a medical report and without carrying out a full assessment of the families and their circumstances, a practice that was deeply deplored by the Report by the Public Inquiry into events in Cleveland and conducted by Justice Butler-Sloss. The Butler-Sloss Report did not make any pronouncement regarding the use of RAD in those cases but it became known that RAD is not a reliable method of identifying sexual abuse of children as it can also indicate other illnesses in children such as severe diarrhoea or constipation, and is extremely painful, degrading, and distressing for the children involved. There is no scientifically conducted research to support the use of RAD, there are no clinically conducted trials to confirm its validity, and no record of its use to obtain statistics of the numbers of false positives. It is therefore a matter of serious dispute in the medical profession as to whether RAD has any validity or utility.One of the children involved in the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal recently described her ordeal as follows. She was only four years old at the time.We were taken to a foster family overnight and taken to hospital the following morning. It was here that I first met Dr Marietta Higgs. She was the first person there I remember seeing. My clothes were forcefully removed and I was told to kneel naked on the bed with my bottom in the air and my head down on the bed. I felt Dr. Higgs pressing my buttocks apart and she looked for what seemed like forever. Even at such a young age I felt very uncomfortable, and embarrassed, and wondered why anyone would want to be looking at my bottom. It actually hurt too. Dr. Higgs made no attempt to be gentle, and for those few moments I felt like a piece of meat! I felt violated! When Dr. Higgs moved on to examine my brother I could hear him screaming and screaming and when Dr. Higgs had finished my little brother ran off down the ward screaming, still with no clothes on, and had diarrhoea all down the ward. I could see my parents in deep distress, their hearts breaking, watching my brother suffering like that. He was only eighteen months old..Parents are left to comfort their children afterward and to try to explain to their hysterical children why they did not protect them from such horrendous examinations.So how and why do doctors inflict such abuse and suffering on children and subject them to such inhumane and degrading treatment, which is of course a serious violation of their human rights ?.

Madeleine: the story six months on

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Six months ago, Madeleine McCann was a name that meant something to only a small group of people; her friends and family in Glasgow, Liverpool and Leicester. Now, the four-year-old's name is synonymous with every parent's deepest fear. Her image stares out from faded posters displayed everywhere from rural shops to international airports. Everyone has a theory on what happened to the little blonde girl one fateful night in Portugal. Her disappearance propelled her family into the public arena and evoked various outpourings of emotion from people who had never met her. Her story has received unprecedented global media coverage yet, half a year later, police seem no closer to discovering the truth. On May 3, the McCanns were indistinguishable from any other family having fun at the pool of the Ocean Club, a resort in Praia da Luz in the south-west Algarve. Gerry McCann, a consultant cardiologist at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital, and his wife Kate, a GP, had chosen the resort because of its child-friendly set-up. The couple, who live in Rothley, Leicestershire, were there with their eldest daughter Madeleine and twins Amelie and Sean. Gerry, a graduate of Glasgow University, met Kate, who studied at Dundee, at the Western Infirmary in Glasgow where he was training as a cardiologist and she was in anaesthetics. Most of Gerry McCann's family still live in Glasgow, including Madeleine's grandmother, who lives in Pollokshaws. On the night of May 3, the couple went to a tapas restaurant close to their apartment, where they dined with friends while making periodic visits to check on their three children. They are reported as returning to the apartment at 9.45pm to find the shutter raised, the window showing signs of having been jemmied open and Madeleine gone. She was reported missing at 10pm. Almost immediately, the alarm was raised and around 60 holidaymakers, expats and staff joined in a hunt in and around Praia da Luz. As the hours passed, the hope that Madeleine might just have wondered off disappeared. Early on, there were mutterings of disapproval at the way the investigation was being handled. Days after the abduction, Portuguese newspapers claimed that the frontiers service had been alerted of Madeleine's disappearance only 12 hours after police first knew about the case. One newspaper reported that the main border crossing from the Portuguese Algarve to Spain had no special controls in place until almost 48 hours after Madeleine had been reported missing. Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa, police spokesman for the investigation, said more than 350 suspicious incidents had been investigated and some 500 apartments inspected, as well as fields across 15 kilometres, and that hundreds of people - both Portuguese and foreign - had been contacted with more than 100 formally interviewed. However, a week after the disappearance, intense physical searches were wound down and police admitted they could give "no firm assurance" that Madeleine was still alive. Back in the family's home village of Rothley, a silent vigil was held at which people lit candles or tied ribbons to railings at the War Memorial on the village green. Portuguese soccer internationals Cristiano Ronaldo, of Manchester United, and Chelsea's Paulo Ferreira both made public appeals for Madeleine's safe return. Stephen Winyard, owner of Stobo Castle, offered a Pfund1m reward for information leading to Maddie's return, while her fourth birthday on May 12 was marked by a television appearance by David Beckham. In what initially seemed like a breakthrough, Robert Murat was named by sources as an arguido, or suspect, for the first time. Murat, an estate agent with dual British and Portuguese nationality, lives with his mother, 160 yards from where Madeleine was snatched. At the end of May, the description of a dark-haired man was released by Portuguese police and the McCanns gave their first interview describing how, in the first few days after their daughter was taken, they had blamed themselves. A few days later, the couple meet the Pope in Rome before touring Europe to keep Madeleine's image in the public eye. In Berlin they faced a hostile German media and were questioned on their involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.

Baby abduction scandal - write to your MP

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I should have been at my desk working. Instead I was watching day time TV, it was very disturbing.
Lib Dem MP John Hemming.
He looks ordinary enough, just like any other MP, really. His allegations of an adoption scandal going on in the UK today - that is very disturbing.
Babies are being removed from their parents so that councils can meet adoption targets, MPs have claimed.
Obviously it is easy to find adoptive parents for young babies, but not for the thousands of older children in care.
A young woman, Fran Lyon, was also on the TV. Fran is 22 and pregnant, her baby will be taken from her at birth to be given for adoption - against her wishes. This decision has been made by the Family Court. The reason given is that an expert who has never met the woman says their is a risk she could harm the child. This risk is because a number of years ago, as a teenager, she was treated as a psychiatric inpatient. The Psychiatrist who has treated her does NOT think there is any risk.
Just in case you do not know - it does not mean she is a psychopath or schizophrenic, she is not a threat to society or herself, she is just normal. Many people have some psychiatric illness for a period in their lives (possibly 1 in 4 people) teenagers are especially vulnerable to anorexia, bulimia, self-harm and suicide attempts. It is not trivial at the time, but at risk of sounding flippant, for most people this period in their lives passes away into history as they grow up and get on with life. I know many respectable people who have spent some time in mental hospitals in their distant pasts.
Many scandals have come to light in recent years where people have been imprisoned due to discredited expert witnesses. So you would think there would be more caution these days.
The problem is that The Family Court is not like any other, it does not work to the same rules.
This part of the story is more shocking. The court can take away a child even though nothing has happened. Before the baby is born Fran Lyon can appear on TV and speak out about this injustice, but after the child is born she is not allowed to speak to ANYONE (but her lawyers) about it. This is a very common occurrence - but no-one is allowed to speak about specific cases. There really seems very little a mother can do once the baby is taken, as adoption is irreversible.
This sort of thing could happen to any family. I have heard harrowing stories of children all taken in to care and adopted with no evidence against the parents. No crime was committed and the parents were never charged with a crime. Still the children can be taken, just in case and spend months or years of their precious childhood in care, foster homes or even be adopted. This is UK Family Justice today (I think, Radio 4, Law in Action).

Appeal for foster care support

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A MOTHER is appealing for better support for a couple who took in her daughter when she was no longer able to care for her.
The women was too unwell to continue raising her daughter, now aged 15. Rather than seeing her go into council care, her friends Stephen Padgham and Donna Raynes have been bringing her up over the past two-and-half years.
But because it is a private arrangement the couple from Knaphill do not receive the automatic financial support from Surrey County Council that official foster parents do.
Public fostering involves children who are in the care of the authority being placed with a family selected by the council but private fostering is an arrangement between the parents and the new carer.
Now the girl's mother who does not want to be named is asking for more help for those who take on responsibility of a youngster in such circumstances.
She said support should automatically be given to people who take on private fostering arrangements to stop more youngsters having to be placed with people they do not know.
She said: Stephen and Donna should be entitled to the money that public foster carers get they are no different to the others.
The situation is awful because I am ill and unable to look after my child. I only get a small amount of money and once I have paid the bills there is nothing left.
I would help out if I could but it is painful to see Stephen and Donna struggle without the help of social services.
While social services have a legal duty to ensure the welfare of the child and visit the couple regularly to monitor her safety, the couple say they have only received Pfund265 to look after her since May 2005. Most of that was for school uniforms earlier in the year.
Official foster carers receive up to Pfund326 per week per child over the age of 11 but the couple have been told they should go to the girl's mother for money.
The situation has become more difficult since Mr Padgham had a stroke four months ago and had to give up work.
Miss Raynes said: It is not all about the money things were okay until Steve had his stroke but it seems as though the council is penalising us for trying to help.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Primary care role is crucial in health for all

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WHAT important event with global significance for health happened 30 years ago? In 1977, the then Secretary of State for Health and Social Security, David Ennals, set up the working group on inequalities in health under the chairmanship of Professor Douglas Black, which produced the landmark Black Report, in August 1980. This initiated the movement that has now put the issue of inequalities in health centre stage on the global public health agenda. Other notable events included the publication by the four home health departments of Prevention and Health: Everybody’s Business, a call to take prevention seriously, which remains to be fully heeded 30 years later; the first case of Legionnaires’ disease in this country in Nottingham – a harbinger of outbreaks to come; and the establishment, by Barbara Castle, of the Health Services Board charged with phasing out private practice in the NHS – a radical move which did not survive the change in government in 1979. But the event I want to focus on is the launch of the Health for All 2000 movement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) at its assembly meeting in Alma Ata. It is probably fair to say that the WHO, an arm of the United Nations bureaucracy, is not a body which means much to us in the UK. If the person on the Clapham Omnibus had heard of it at all they would probably associate it with the health problems of the third world, not with what happens in developed countries like ours. In this they would be about right. In 1997, in its Alma Ata declaration, WHO identified reducing inequalities in health in the developing and developed worlds as a key aim, and highlighted the importance for its attainment of two factors – intersectoral collaboration and primary care. Intersectoral collaboration is a bit of a mouthful, which basically means that health is not the sole responsibility of one agency but the joint responsibility of many agencies, which must work together in partnership to make it happen. Today we recognise this as a self-evident truth, but in 1977 this was an important new insight the impact of which it is difficult to overstate. Prior to 1977, collaboration between “health” agencies in the UK was restricted to two areas – social services and education – where it was acknowledged that, for example, the care of the mentally ill and the education of handicapped children required close working between the health service, social services and education departments. A specific mechanism, the Joint Consultative Committee was set up in each locality to promote such collaboration. After 1977, in the wake of the Alma Ata declaration, the ambitious Health for All 2000 movement was launched which quickly manifested itself in a growing number of projects around the world, and in the UK, where local agencies came together to look at how they could improve the health and reduce the health inequalities in their populations. In the course of time, the number of agencies involved grew as evidence accumulated that health was affected by what came to be known as the wider determinants, namely a wide range of social, economic and environmental factors. More recently Wales has institutionalised intersectoral collaboration through its innovative health, social care and wellbeing agenda, which recognises that health and wellbeing is everybody’s business and that all agencies need to work together to deliver it. With our own well developed primary care system this element of the Alma Ata declaration seemed to offer little new, but for many countries this was not the case because the delivery of health care tended to be equated with secondary care that is hospital services. So a message only for the developing world one might think. But this was not in fact the case. For it was implicit in the WHO’s singling out of primary care that this also had a key role to play in preventing ill health as well as in treating it. This message has taken much longer to take root than the intersectoral collaboration one, for only now is the crucial role of GPs and their primary care team colleagues in promoting the health and wellbeing of their registered populations beginning to be recognised.