There’s always notable press coverage of the work of child protection social workers and it’s right that the abuses of power and injustices by social workers are revealed and examined and for that purpose, it’s necessary to explore social workers misunderstanding and the rising perversion of section 17 of the 1989 Children Act.
Section 17 sits in part three of the Act, which is titled ‘Support for Children and Families Provided by Local Authorities in England’.
Section 20 is also included in part three. The importance in this section of the Act is on giving services to families, including where needed, and accommodation to support them.
Indeed, the provisions of this part of the Act contrast to those covered in part five, through which local authorities can apply to the courts to become involved in a child’s life. Part five further provides the police with powers to protect children.
At their most invasive, these powers allow the removal of children from their parents care and critically, it’s part of five of the Act, and not part three, which provides a means for the state to meddle in a child’s life without the approval of the family.
And numerous social workers treat the two parts as if they’re interchangeable and in most cases, social workers frequently intend to do the best by the children with whom they work, usually in quite challenging circumstances but observations of a typical local authority children’s services department suggests that social workers routinely meddle in a child’s life under the guise of section 17, where this may be inappropriate and without providing families with sufficient information about the voluntary nature of their involvement.
And it appears that they’re not working in conjunction with families but act as if they’re working through the powers available in part five of the Act and in this way, they’re meddling in families lives potentially without justification, without scrutiny and the approval and permission from families.
This matters because it’s through the provisions of section 17 of the Act that much of their work with families start and most of the assessments they conduct are, in theory, ‘assessments of children in need’, not child protection investigations.
Many of the children on their caseloads are, officially ‘children in need’ and parents may have heard social workers relate to their work with families as ‘child in need planning’.
In 2017 there were approximately 4000,000 ‘children in need’ in England but the number would be smaller if section 17 was used as the Act intended.
This section of the Act places a responsibility on local authorities to safeguard and promote the well-being of children within their area who are in need and so far as is consistent with that duty, to promote the upbringing of such children by their families by implementing a variety and level of services suited to those children’s needs.
There is nothing written about the requirement to obtain parents consent and agreement before local authorities can provide services through this section, the same is true of section 20, but this is because the Act is written from the assumption that, generally, parents alone hold the right to make decisions about their children’s lives and social workers must be clear of the difference between the duty to provide services and right to intervene.
Moreover, this, in particular, focuses on working in conjunction with children and families, as does the guidance on assessing children who may be in need and parents do not have to agree to their children being assessed and this is the crucial point that social workers appear to continually disregard.
Indeed, in practice, social workers seldom ask families being supported through section 17 whether they consent to assessment or intervention and they seldom ask for parents consent to become involved in a child’s life and numerous social workers will say that it’s not for the parents to decide whether social workers should be, or remain, involved in their child’s life where it’s been determined that they’re ‘in need’.
This is a questionable practice which isn’t supported by the law or guidance, in fact, local authority guidance on this subject usually refers to the need to gain parents consent before undertaking any work with a family but that this guidance is too commonly disregarded by social workers.
And as noted, part five of the Act allowed, in section 43 local authorities to apply for court orders if they’re concerned for a child’s well-being and have been denied access.
While the child assessment order is seldom used, it exists for those situations where local authorities have concerns about a child and have been prevented from completing an assessment to decide whether further action is needed.
Other sections of part five allow for even greater levels of intervention where needed.
To be clear, there’s been no inferring that social workers should seek court orders to meddle in families lives more often than they already do but families do usually agree with being assessed and supported by social workers if they’re given the opportunity but it’s also imperative that social workers make the options and possible consequences for families.
But some families have refused an assessment and support, should this prompt social workers and other professionals involved to thoroughly examine whether there are risks to the child or whether it’s necessary to take further action?
I guess it depends on the situation and if it is considered necessary the social workers should refer to part five of the Act, if it’s not, the matter should be closed and social workers should not remain involved in the families lives without adequate reason.
This kind of discussion seldom happens where local authorities use section 17 to support families because social workers can, in effect, make decisions alone, although this contrasts to situations where there are court proceedings or where a child protection plan is in place, in those cases, there are additional layers of scrutiny and independent oversight.
And it appears that everyday practice implies that much of social workers current use of section 17 may be improper and families, usually with few resources and little knowledge of the law are being treated in a way that’s probably illegal, unfair and not in keeping with the principles of the Children Act.
And many families concerning social services has been shocking, no engagement, no explanation, no agreement, months of procrastination, no returned calls, it’s just shocking with some social workers who have been manipulative, dishonest and dangerous.
This is a shocking exploitation of power and sometimes without explanation or reason, some are out there just so that they can destroy perfectly functioning families and some of these social workers are ill-trained people operating outside practice and process, doing what they like to whomever they like.
And many children where a child might be in need, some social workers seem to be determined to make up reasons as to why they might believe that child is at risk, often using the parents past against them and scaremongering, usually making that parents life hell because it’s all about power trips.
Some social workers think nothing of lying and making fraudulent or misleading assertions, simply because they take a personal dislike to a parent or parents and yet many social workers seem to dodge soap and whose lives are car crashes, yet they want to persecute other parents.
And numerous assessments are done where the parent has not been aware that they could refuse as the social worker never notified them.
Social workers might come to your home for a diversity of reasons, perhaps a nosey next-door-neighbour has put a report into them, then some social worker turns up at your door and starts a child in need assessment and will question the child or children.
They might even tell you they have no concerns but the family might just need a little support due to one reason or another and they’ll tell you it’s a legal requirement and that they’re going to contact your GP to get information and they’ll tell you that these steps are a legal requirement for a child in need, yet the social worker has just told you that there are no concerns and they certainly didn’t tell you that you had any rights.
Parents need to become acquainted and learn their rights and if social services have no child protection concerns, get them to say that in an email and then refuse their help because Child in Need is voluntary and permission needs to be given by the parent or parents.
Social Services has such a bad reputation and scaremongering is a tactic used by many and just the mention of a social worker sends chills down my spine because of the destruction they can cause and countless parents have no idea that they can refuse and many families have been ripped apart because of social workers and that damage can never be repaired and sometimes all because of a malicious report.
And it seems that the experience that these families are getting seems to have the empathy of the Spanish Inquisition and let’s be realistic here, essentially no one likes or respects social workers because most of them suffer from self-deception.
History is awash with their shortcomings and harassment of parents merely on hearsay and tittle-tattle and even when they’re caught lying in court under oath, no one appears to mind.
Most are bitter and twisted, childless individuals with car crash lives and precious few friends and some won’t even admit to being a social worker.
And some parents have had social workers come in and out of their lives for a pretty long time but the system is being exploited by some social workers who like to stamp their authority especially if that parent is a low-income family because they know they can’t afford to get legal aid unless they take you to court.
So, they do indeed use this to their advantage and they lie and they access files without consent and they misuse their powers and instead of working with families they invariably rip them apart and if you question what they’re doing they will say that you’re aggressive and offensive and then they come into your home and they expect you to do everything they want or they will take your children.
Therefore, as a parent how much rights do you have when these people come into your life and the entire service needs to be seriously looked into and the fact is that far too many social workers take a manipulative, dishonest and divisive approach to their work, typically concluding there was nothing to address or no risk but still leaving families in ruins through their approach.
For those that have never been involved with Social Services, many social workers fabricate lies, trying to cover up their mistakes as they go along, which doesn’t lead to the safety of any child.
Paperwork is very rarely sent, it’s always delivered by hand and sometimes even Child Protection conference minutes are hand-printed off by the social worker.
Many parents jump threw hoops to work with social workers and they will put you on a specific plan so that legal aid is not an option and in reality, the social workers are a pack of lying, manipulating trouble making reprobates.
And they seem to be taught how to manipulate and lie, so how is this benefiting families and how is this gaining trust?
Social workers are not correctly equipped to work with children on the Autistic spectrum, they make decisions based on things they don’t know, for instance, poor knowledge of autistic separation anxiety and then mix it up with Attachment disorder and then blame the parents for the child’s separation anxiety and this is why so many parents leave the system and would rather stay under the radar and home educate their children.
The system would rather force our children to ‘behave’ than to understand how to help a child with anxiety and to maybe consider doing things differently because there is so much misinformation out there.
There are numerous families out there that have asked social services for help but trying to get help when you ask for it is practically unattainable but if a nosey neighbour reports you they’re on you like a sack of potatoes and then they think they have the power to ride roughshod over parents.
And countless children have been needlessly removed from parents and the push to increase adoption in England is forcing low-income women to lose their children due to poverty and the policy of increasing adoption hasn’t decreased the amount of children in care as it was meant to, but has raised the number of those separated from their parents.
Family support is what we need but instead, we are more willing to spend money on someone else looking after these children than in making sure the parents make a good job of it and this is the unjust separation of children from their mothers.
The number of looked after children in England is the highest its ever been and one in five children under the age of five years old are referred to children’s services and one in 19 are investigated and adoptions are higher than in any other European country and most adoptions are done without the permission of the family.
There were claims of 56 women, all of whom came to help to fight for their children and most of them didn’t have a solicitor and charges of neglect are used to punish, especially single-mother families, for their unbearably low incomes.
The fundamental relationship between mother and child is dismissed as irrelevant to a child’s wellbeing and development, and the ordeal of separation and its lifelong consequences are disregarded.
And mothers who are victims of domestic violence are denied any help, condemned for failing to protect their children and punished with their removal and there appears to be secrecy in family courts, where adoption arrangements are made in private hearings, in which mothers are restricted by law from talking about the loss of their children.
Families are being penalised for living in poverty, it seems to be a kind of social cleansing and vulnerable people are having their children taken away and it’s all about them judging the risk of significant harm but if they used the money on putting in the support that was needed many of these families would be able to keep their children.
The drive to increase adoptions started under Tony Blair’s government to decrease the numbers of children in long-term care and it was maintained under David Cameron, who said that the children and social work bill was intended to tip the balance in support of permanent adoption where that is the right thing for the child, even when it meant disregarding family ties.
But in a 2013 high court ruling, Sir James Munby, the president of the high court family division, said the political drive to hasten and increase adoption shouldn’t override due process and break up families needlessly.
The position about care proceedings in England and Wales is frightful and there are numerous reports and concerns about the ever-increasing number of care proceedings with no corresponding increase in identification of those children who suffer harm.
The concern from many is that we’ve created an insatiable and possibly unstoppable risk monster and many senior judges have warned that the family justice system is close to collapse and can’t support this ongoing rise in numbers of applications for care orders.
And much of the debate on and offline from parents and some professionals is very bleak in terms of sustainability of the system and the wrong that it does to those who come within it.
And once a case comes to court, the court system itself usually fails to achieve what we know is needed and the procedure is usually inefficient and inhumane.
This puts at risk the need to have the best decisions made on the right evidence, which in turn puts in peril the child’s need to have the right placement and the right support identified and implemented and parents are left behind at the end of it, bewildered, pained and alone with no further legal help to challenge a judgment they may feel is extremely wrong.
The entire system is predicated on failures and some of those failures are a gross indictment of the way our society operates. Other failures are just a reflection of the inherent weakness of human beings.
We could, of course, annihilate those types of failures by going down the path of eugenics and social engineering which only the extreme and dangerous few would ever support, ie the government.
Children are defenceless, we all know that because they rely on their parents and not all parents can be good enough parents but then there is no such thing as the perfect parent because bringing up a child doesn’t come with a manual.
This isn’t about moral responsibility, it’s about asking tough questions about what we, collectively, acknowledge we should do to protect the most defenceless members of our society.
Who reading this believes that children aren’t in danger of death or grave harm from their parents?
Of course, intentional murder is thankfully rare, yet as parents, we never lose that fear that someone from social services might knock on our door and in the Cote d’Azur, there’s a large metal gate at the entrance to a villa where there’s an elderly man draped in millionaire leisurewear.
He’s holding a ringing phone. At the end of the line is a woman about to go to court to plead to be reunited with her children who were removed by social services more than a decade before.
He tells the woman not to have a lawyer, whatever she does because she won’t be able to speak for herself and then he asks the woman why she spoke to the social worker and that she shouldn’t have done because she’s the parent, not the adopter and that she’s not committed any offence.
Ian Josephs is an 87-year-old English tax exile running his business out of Monaco where he became a vigilante, not of the criminal justice system, but the child protection system.
Ian Josephs pays pregnant mother’s travel expenses to escape the country to France or Ireland if they suspect social workers are plotting to remove their babies once they’re born.
He does this for about five women a year and he figures he’s spent £40,000 on it over the years and advises hundreds more on the phone.
He tells mothers to stonewall social workers and to fire their lawyers and he advises that they shouldn’t report domestic violence or mistreatment of their children, insisting they will just lose their children.
His main gripe is with social services, which he refers to as ‘the SS’ and he said the way they behave is like Nazis, in various ways and of course you should doubt these awful people because they have one image in their mind and that’s not to keep the family together but to steal their children.
Of course, he tells parents to distrust the system and the judge will admittedly be suspicious if they don’t work with social workers but it’s better for the judge to simply be suspicious than to work with social workers, which means giving up their children, then they have no chance at all.
Ian Josephs could be written off as an annoying eccentric, a rich oddball taking a small portion of his tax-free wealth to interfere in the lives of those less fortunate than himself.
He may even be making their situations more serious by advising them against working with social workers or lawyers.
He has a life story with the plot twists of Forrest Gump and he tells it with the populist enthusiasm of Nigel Farage.
A middle-class boy at a prime English public school, he worked his way to Oxford, despite his weak grades, to study law, sharing a room with Michael Heseltine before they went into the hotel business together.
Michael Heseltine moved on to Conservative politics, working in various governments and at one time as deputy prime minister. However, Ian Josephs expanded to larger hotels and then language schools and along the way, he became a world-rated chess player and stood three times for parliament and was elected to Kent County Council.
It was as a councillor in the 1960s that he first encountered the child protection system and began giving free advice to parents and in 2002 he moved to Monaco and started his website giving free advice to parents.
He describes his morning call as typical of the two or three he gets every day and he said, can you think of any reason, even if a woman is on drugs, to take a child away without giving her any chance to look after it?
He’s not pretending that these women he’s helped are angels because as he said, he’s not one himself, everybody has got flaws but that doesn’t take away their liberties.
And why would a well off man, who lives encircled by his family in the south of France, spend what should be his retirement doing this?
His motivation is to satisfy the lawyer he wanted to be and he maintains that he couldn’t practise law in the United Kingdom because he was too extravagant for its legal system.
He also does it because he doesn’t like people telling other people what to do and because he believes there’s a huge injustice at play in which parents, often mothers who are being punished without a wrong being established.
Ian Josephs is an extremist in the cruel but largely ignored argument over family division. However, in the fight that pits state against family, more measured people are now asking whether the state is taking too many children from their parents.
And in England, the state, via social workers recommendations and the court’s rulings, now removes more children from their families than at any point in the past 25 years.
The amount of children severed from their parents has been unwaveringly rising and has been raised by a third since 1994 and by the time they arrive at their fifth birthday, almost one in five children have been referred to social workers and around 404,000 are described as ‘in need’ of state support.
The reasons behind the 25-year trend of growing numbers of children going into the care system are complicated and challenged, however, they don’t indicate an uptick in physical or sexual abuse.
Instead, they show a shift in our tolerance for neglect and emotional abuse and the growing pressure on social workers to foretell the risk of abuse before it’s even occurred.
The 1989 Children’s Act declares that legal proceedings to separate families should be sought when the child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm but two things have evolved within the system since that law was passed, the perception of what establishes harm and a shift from interventions at the point of harm to the anticipation of harm.
The shift to anticipating harm, rather than responding to actual harm, was spurred on by a series of high profile failures to protect children in care, from Victoria Climbié to Peter Connelly, better known as ‘Baby P’.
Each of those horrific cases was met by a media objection, leaving social workers more risk-averse in a desire to circumvent the same blunders happening. In practice, this means they might go to court more swiftly to get the support of a judges determination.
This is kindling a disruption of trust that goes both ways between society and some families, social workers and predominantly poor parents and it’s made more acute by poverty and austerity.
Poverty makes it more difficult to parent, and austerity means there’s more limited help available to help families and Manchester has one of the most hard-pressed social services systems in the country.
A study found that 48 per cent of under-fives had been referred to council workers, the highest percentage in the country and poverty is the number one problem.
The principal driver is the complete shortage of resources to do any social work or interventions, so the only other resort is going to court because if social services through lack of funding are not able to work with the family, the court seems to be the ‘go-to’ route.
And the situation is that parents frequently fail to qualify for support, particularly when there are mental health problems or to help them flee domestic violence and that same mental health problem or abusive partner is the reason their children are taken into care.
One lawyer in a northern city described her client, desperate for her daughter to return from residential care where she was sent because of her mother’s abusive partner.
The partner is now gone but the teenager is stuck in care because while everyone agrees they need family therapy, none is available because it’s considered too costly but care costs as much as £10,000 a month, the therapy would be a fraction of that.
Social workers talk of the ‘toxic trio’ or sometimes the ‘trigger trio’ that leads to children going into care, such as substance misuse, domestic violence and mental illness but some add learning disabilities as a fourth category.
The focus is on those practical problems, many of which are just manifestations of poverty that in itself is too great to contemplate or too seemingly unmanageable.
Domestic violence has changed in nature with the recognition of emotional harm in law and the knock-on effects of that for children and when a mother reports domestic brutality to the police, social workers are called and they will evaluate not only the possible physical harm of the children but the risk of emotional abuse.
We’ve also seen a transformation in what society is prepared to accept as a standard of parenting they can tolerate and if you look at history, abuse now was not deemed abuse 30 years ago and now there’s a much lower level of tolerance for it.
But without more services accessible to social workers to help families, social workers have few alternatives but to start proceedings and the thin red line is crossed and families are finding themselves on a conveyor belt into court.
And families reactions to social workers are frequently seen as a sign of increased risk to the child and if parents don’t play ball they’re labelled ‘not open and honest’ or being ‘collusive’ or ‘attempting to manipulate’.
But for the system to be a fair one, there must be adequate social work skills and organisational ability to effectively develop a bond of trust and confidence in the first place.
Sadly, the system simply can’t cope with the prevailing level of children in care and some children should never have gone into care in the first place and more immediate intervention and better support for those families would have kept them from going through the courts at all.
Ian Josephs argues that social workers should be eliminated and the only children who should be separated from their parents are those who are physically or sexually abused and that should be done by the police when they investigate to a criminal standard.
And for mum and sometimes dads who are navigating this debate in real life with the biggest stake in the game, they can feel victimised and lacking free advice and the offer of unfettered help from someone like Ian Josephs is an escape route and for some, it might feel like he’s their only salvation.
But some lawyers say that vigilante rhetoric is intensifying the breakdown in trust between social workers and families and fuelling a populist backlash against the state but in the Cote d’Azur, Ian Josephs phone keeps ringing and the emails keep coming and it’s where five of his children work for him.
He was asked if he believes it’s right that he sits enclosed by the kitsch wealth of Monaco and meddles with a system that’s so far from the world he lives in, but he said you don’t have to be Gallileo to know that the earth is round.
Does he worry that he might be advising people who are seriously harming their children and he said that he doesn’t worry any more than lawyers worry when they represent people like Doctor Shipman and Peter Sutcliffe.
Is there a chance that his advice could cost some mothers their children, well, he disputes this completely and he figures he can’t prove it, but he estimates he can get about a 20 per cent success rate.
Lawyers get nothing, they agree with social workers and they work with the very people who are out to steal these people’s children and these people have to fight every step of the way.
He said: “I’m not a voice crying in the wilderness.”
Parents who’ve been through court, are usually restricted as to what they can say, so families voices can get lost in the entire debate.
Annie, not her real name, contacted Ian Josephs for guidance when her baby was on the way and contemplated leaving the country. She booked to leave on 6 June, a month before her baby was due. She said he was a rather charming and persuasive and he riles you up and if you’ve been controlled by men your whole life, he’s difficult to ignore.
She was vulnerable but she wasn’t blind and had she gone she would have lost her other five children.
She changed her mind, fought back in court with legal counsel, working closely with social workers and following a long court battle, nine months later her baby was returned to her.
Since her son came home, she’s become a valued voice in the system, advising local authorities around the country on how to improve services and even helping to train social workers.
She’s warm and witty and has that precious ability to be a devastating critic with the credibility to work within the system to improve it.
She said that one of the experiences she had was when she and her elder son Jonny had to use a food bank after her son was removed. She couldn’t seek work because she was in contact or at court so frequently, so they turned her down for jobseekers allowance and ESA and because she wasn’t ill so they were living on her son’s child trust credit.
To use a food bank she had to go through the social worker and rather them understanding her difficulties, they used it against her because it was evidence she couldn’t manage her money and was living a disorganised lifestyle.
And that was their attitude, just get on with it, sort out your problems or we’ll take your children away from you because they never see you as the victim, they see you as responsible, it’s sink or swim and families are pushed to the absolute limit.
It’s very much like Rotherham, the victim-blaming was unbelievable and in Rotherham, victims of child abuse, in the main poor were white girls who were treated like troublesome teenagers and even prostitutes.
There are two ways women can go, they can blame everything on the council and social workers and decline to work with them, or they can face up to their weaknesses and do everything they can to get their children back.
These women become professionalised mothers and then suddenly they’re talking about age-appropriate toys because that’s the language social workers use and it changes you as a mother.
And the effects of the entire experience ends up determining who you are but you never lose the dread of the knock on the door and it’s more damaging than the police knocking at your front door and the horror of losing your children lingers with you always.
It’s terrifying because it’s all about risk with social services, and they appear to be obsessed with risk and this shouldn’t be happening in 21st century Britain, seriously restricting someone’s family life because of word of mouth and the smallest probability of a future crime.
There is a risk within any family because parents aren’t perfect and any parent driving a car with their children in it could be considered a risk or a child might have an accident at home, that could be regarded a risk or if they fall off their bike.
You can’t take away all risk and society have gone mad over this and social services have become utter Gestapo.
Then there was a three-year ordeal, where a 48-year-old man was banned from living with his wife and younger children even after a jury cleared him on 15 charges of abusing his eldest daughter.
Despite reports from schools and independent assessors which raised no concerns over the children’s well-being, Derbyshire social services chose not to accept the not guilty verdict of the criminal trial and instead chose to take the case to family court, where there’s a lesser burden of proof.
But the tactic failed when a family court judge determined that none of the allegations against the man, a care worker, had been established.
The man was overcome with joy because it was such a relief to be able to go home and be with his family again and to see his children normally instead of just a few hours a week.
It was, of course, the intention of social services to split this man and his wife up but they only made them stronger and the man’s wife, who has supported him at every stage said that justice has been done at last and it’s fantastic.
There were numerous times when they feared they wouldn’t prevail because it felt the whole system was against them and they were persecuted because social services refused to change their attitude and admit their mistakes.
The churchgoing couple, who live in the country, found their lives turned upside down when their eldest daughter accused her father of having sexually abused her since the age of 12.
The unexpected claim came after a string of bitter teenage quarrels with her parents over her future education and the kind of boyfriend she was seeing, with the rows climaxing and the daughter leaving the family home, telling her boyfriend that she’d been sexually abused by her father.
The boyfriend reported it to the police and they arrested the girl’s father in the spring of 2007. Four months later he was charged with sexual abuse and freed on bail.
Her parents were completely stunned because they’d never had any problems from her before and she always got on so brilliantly with her father, so this was a complete bolt from the blue.
When the man was ultimately cleared of all charges, in which his eldest daughter gave evidence against him, the couple was elated. But a further bombshell awaited them.
A few days later social services told them the not guilty verdict had made little difference to their position and social services said that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove he wasn’t a risk to the children and that despite the man being found not guilty by a jury they wanted to hold a family court hearing to determine that on the balance of probabilities something had taken place.
And five months after his acquittal social services told him that if he didn’t leave the family home altogether they would start proceeding to have his daughters taken into care even despite the fact the girls were being repeatedly questioned by independent welfare professionals, who reported no concerns about their home lives and social services had up until that point allowed him to live at the family home.
Even the girl’s primary and secondary schools wrote letters to the social services department saying they had no concerns about their well-being but at the same time, a report by social workers working the case admitted that there seemed to be no concerns about the children’s performance and there had been no concerns expressed concerning the parent’s ability to parent their children.
Yet despite the report noting that the man had been found not guilty of all charges, social services still insisted that he presented a possible danger to the children.
Desperate not to have the children taken into care, the man moved out just before the New Year into rented accommodation five miles from the family home.
He was permitted to see his other daughters for two hours a day, under supervision but then a family court in Derby held a hearing to decide whether the man posed a threat to his children or could be allowed home.
But following several days of testimony, in which the couple’s eldest daughter again took the stand against her father, Judge James Orrell found in favour of the man.
The judge said that it had been one of the most complex fact-finding hearings of this kind that he’d had to deal with and that the evidence on both sides had been finely balanced.
And even though he’d not found the couple’s eldest daughter had lied to him, her testimony had not convinced him that on the balance of probability her father sexually assaulted her and he didn’t find any of the allegations substantiated.
And even though they were both jubilant at the outcome, the case has left the man and his wife bitter.
Social services don’t have many resources and they don’t seem to be able to concentrate on the right priorities, instead, they concentrate on the easy scapegoats because these people were a kind, quiet, middle-class family that social services thought they could push about and browbeat and it’s time that this class of institution changed its views.