Fassit UK Press Release in response to Felicity Collier of BAAF
Added: (Wed Aug 31 2005)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
Fassit UK make this statement in response to a Media Release by Felicity Collier of the BAAF - British Association for Adoption & fostering http://www.baaf.org.uk/media/releases/050823_letter.pdf
(Filed 22 August 2005)
August 31 2005 - We deeply regret that Felicity Collier has misunderstood the work of Fassit. Firstly she is mistaken to say that we are a pressure group. We are a support and advice group for families and parents that have had their children unjustly taken by social services. And Secondly I am sorry that Mrs Collier feels that we make appalling allegations. I can assure the public that any allegations we have made is the truth and can be much supported by evidence from the governments own websites.
We appreciate and value the work of any charity, especially those that work for the greater good of children, and I am sure BAAF- British Association for Adoption & Fostering - have helped many children who have actually been abused. We do not wish for parents to be frightened of contacting the social services for help; we believe a large majority of Social Services departments do excellent work in difficult circumstances.
However, Fassit UK are receiving many enquiries from parents who feel they have had their children unjustly taken by social services often through misleading evidence to the court by social workers on the basis of inaccurate information.
...And when social services remove children they have no policies in place to support the children or their families with counselling - the extraction is clinical and without anaesthesia.
Parents who demonstrate a natural reaction to such a brutal operation - who are exhibiting a natural response to a situation in which they are disempowered - are accused of being 'hostile' and 'confrontational' and 'failing to co-operate' - yet this is a failure of social services to recognize that the trauma of unjustly removing children from loving parents.
In 2000, Tony Blair called for a 40% increase in adoptions. Margaret Hodge fixed targets for local authorities giving beacon status and stars and even large financial rewards (Kent got £21 million pounds for hitting 10 out of 12 targets under a public service agreement) to those councils who were successful. Many social workers are therefore motivated to take children into care with a view to adoption to meet their targets.
In England approximately 1 in 20 children have been taken into Social Services care, some adopted, at some point in their lives. Nearly 60,000 children are taken into care each year. That's the entire population of 100 primary schools. Each case costs the taxpayer an average of £70K in legal fees; many cost over £350K.
There are other costs, costs that needlessly drain the resources of local authorities, central government and charities. Private children's homes charge up to '£7000 per week per child' As for foster parents who are lucky enough to live in Slough, they get a tax free allowance of £400 per week per child so a fosterer with 3 or 4 children is very well off indeed and is not likely to encourage the children to return home. That's an average of £2,500 per child, per week-more than four times what it would cost to send a child to Eton. Channel4.com
In public the social services then advertise these same children for adoption on many websites such as www.ukkids.info and in magazines such as 'adoption UK' giving first names, photographs, birth dates and characteristics. Essex council has also featured a complete judgement concerning the children featured in the Daily Mail on their website for all to see. In other words the Councils can break secrecy but parents risk prison if they do the same.
Social workers pathetically repeat "damned if we do and damned if we don’t” as an excuse for their actions.
Reality: They get damned because they avoid the violent type of parents and carers who torture their children as they are afraid for their own safety and they therefore prefer to take the easier option of targeting parents with low income or low IQs as pointed out by the Mail. Rather like some police who prefer to target motorists with a defective rear light rather than go after the armed robbers.
Social workers often point to the large numbers of children in voluntary care but do not mention that many of these were given up to care because parents were promised that if they cooperated by agreeing to this the children would be returned in 2 or 3 months. Of course this promise is too often broken and the parents losing their children for good are pressurised and betrayed, both by social workers and their own lawyers who inevitably advise parents to cooperate with social services when they say "temporary care" is the best option.
Judges have admitted in court that it is safer to "go along with social services" rather than take any risks and that is why parents almost never win their children back.
Fassit UK has circulated information re - General Social Care Council to its members. This is a body which has a National Code of Conduct for all social workers and Guardians ad Liteums. Registration with the GSCC - which has the power to de-register social workers - has been voluntary for a number of years. Registration has been mandatory for all social workers and Guardians since April 2005. 'We are alarmed that the overwhelming number of social workers involved in the removal of children - are NOT even legally registered'.
Surprisingly, Mrs Collier commented in a live Radio Europe broadcast recently to a Fassit spokesperson that she: “only knew of one Adoption agency in England” yet, Fassit have investigated this claim and found there are large numbers of adoption & Fostering agencies spread all over the UK. She also claimed – “she has no power over the actions of the social services and BAAF is only a charity.” So the question must be asked of Felicity Collier, “why the Chief Executive of BAAF continues to publically defend some unjust ‘Social Services procedures’
It is also interesting that Felicity Collier ignored the actual cases highlighted in media concerns - and as not been rational in demonstrating a concern for ALL the parties involved - and has chosen to make unfair, unfounded accusations.
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