Petition update

How Social Services Emotionally Harm Children

Autistic Parent
United Kingdom

Nov 26, 2016 — Dear Supporters,

when there are false allegations of 'emotional harm' against parents by social services, the toxic process that ensues, is almost guaranteed to cause the type of harm to the children that social services are investigating:

"A huge increase in the number of children being referred to social services has caused “catastrophic” trauma for tens of thousands of families without any corresponding increase in the number of child abuse cases detected, the author of a study has said."

“We are now at a situation where up to 5% of all families are now referred for assessment every year,” said Dr Lauren Devine, principal investigator of the Economic and Social Research Council-funded study."

You cannot pick apart a family into separate entities, children are part of their parents and parents are part of their children. Children rely on their parents for their needs. Parents supply those needs. So a fault-finding process against parents, which to the vast majority of parents will cause undue stress and trauma, can only be detrimental to the children. Parents under such stress will find it harder to focus on daily lives and harder to feel and appear positive, despite their best efforts. What's even worse, is that children being forced into situations they don't want, causes the children anxiety and distress.

When children are autistic, they are more prone to anxiety and mental ill-health. So social workers forcing children to see them against their will, can only distress them. An autistic child knowing, that despite having made their feelings very clear to the social worker beforehand, the social worker is still insisting on seeing them, leaves them feeling powerless, forced, ignored, undermined and without a voice. Aren't social services supposed to be about the voice of the child?

Autistic children often don't do well meeting strangers. Autism is a social communication disorder. Autistics also operate on logic, if they don't see a reason to do something, it's distressing to be forced into it anyway. If there is something guaranteed to make an autistic uncomfortable and anxious, it's putting them in a room with a stranger they don't want to see.

So if a parent forced their child into a situation like that (meeting and being interrogated by a stranger against their will) and the child complained to a professional, the professional would likely go onto red alert and report the parent as 'emotionally harming' the child. So how do social workers get away with this frankly abusive behaviour? Yes, I do use the term abusive. Because whilst every child will sometimes have to do something they don't want (such as being given vegetables to eat!), because that's part of normal life, when a social worker has been fully informed by both parents and children beforehand that this unwarranted process is distressing to them and they continue anyway, what else can it be called?

Parents doing their best to comply with the demands of a 'service' that is conducting their 'investigation' unlawfully from the outset, are clearly parents more than fully co-operating, even though their legal rights, their children's legal rights and a whole host of ethical and moral considerations are being ignored and breached.

So intrusive, unwarranted continued involvement being forced upon a decent and caring family, is extremely harmful to the whole family. When there is no justification for this, and it causes those vulnerable children ongoing anxiety, that is state abuse by social services.

And this all stems from being an empowered parent meeting the needs of their children, being dismissed, misrepresented, misunderstood and discriminated against. Shame on a 'service' that misuses public funds this way to harm innocent people.

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