Thursday, August 18, 2011

State child snatchers

As social workers hand back a child they falsely claim was abused, an investigation exposes one of the great scandals of our age

If things have gone so terribly wrong with our child protection system, why has this happened — and why have we not heard more about it? It is difficult for outsiders to realise just how corrupted it has become until they experience it at first hand — because the entire system has managed to hide itself away behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy.

Supposedly designed to ‘protect the interests of the children’ by ensuring that they cannot be identified, this secrecy had been used by the system to conceal its workings from public view, by threatening parents with prison for talking about their case to outsiders, and even journalists like me for trying to report what goes on.

It is this cloak of secrecy which more than anything has allowed the system to go so far off the rails. Too many social workers are in the grip of a self-righteous, politically correct ideology which drives them to abuse the power the Government has given them over other people’s lives, in the conviction that they are doing good in the world.

The secrecy which surrounds the way they wield that power means they are hardly ever called to account.

Nothing did more to distort the system in this way than Tony Blair’s personal crusade a few years back to drive up the number of adoptions by setting councils targets for the number of children they place with new families.

They were given huge cash incentives to fulfil their quotas thanks to a policy which, though now technically abandoned, has left a terrible legacy in convincing both social workers and the courts that one of their prime duties is to seize children from their parents, even when there is no good reason for it.

It is time this astonishing national scandal was recognised for what it is, and for the trail of horrors it is perpetrating to be dragged into the light.