BOX TICKING HAS TO STOP! TRIANGLES AND CIRCLES ARE NO BETTER THAN SQUARES!
Could the SNP use the Named Person ruling by the supreme court to overhaul the way child protection functions in Scotland? If they really are the party they claim to be this would be a great time to show us doubters that they do put the human rights of the people of Scotland before their own political ends.
When it comes to children and families our current system of social work intervention picks and mixes when it comes to human rights. Unfortunately the essential life saving work done by social workers is balanced by the destruction caused to families who receive unnecessary intervention.
Last night the family and I were celebrating Mr Kimlin’s and my fourteenth wedding anniversary. We went for a picnic at our favourite view point and blew bubbles. We’d had bubbles at our wedding instead of confetti.
I brought up the headline quote by the Nestle chief about water not being a human right.
Banana Bug appeared confused and said “Huh.”
So I repeated the headline. And she looked more confused and said, “That makes no sense.”
Sometimes I think I’m doing a good job with these kids ;)
Having read more than his headline there are elements of what he said that I agree with.
The ECHR has given us a lot of rights and I’m sure most people have seen this:
]The Human Rights we have over data access are there for a reason and it is not for neither the Scottish Government nor Moray Council to decide which ones they choose to go with. It’s not a pick and mix deal. These aren’t cherry lips and cola bottles they are the rights we have to live our lives unmolested.
This family have been put through hell:
Chronically Ill Teen in Moray
Clare is one of the strongest people I've ever met. What has happened to her family is horrendous.
There was no real help available from politicians (anyone in this situation soon realises how true Yes Minister was and that those we elect have far less power over our every day life than unelected officials) in fact they continue to be ignored by some who should be helping and the council have ignored and whitewashed it (as usual in these cases). Its been a long period of hell that a family already dealing with chronic health issues don't need. My children's Named Person wasn't the guidance teacher but my children's Named person, the council's "inclusion officer", was a major antagonist in this story. I've put inclusion officer in quotes because my family and I didn't feel included in anything during that time. He also, unlike his exceptional predecessor, has a woeful lack of understanding of home education and has more than once made statements at odds with Scottish Government guidelines. Not least the several months spent trying to force my family to have a timetabled routine and "classes". I home educate my children I do not homeschool them. There's a big difference.
My own family, also in Moray has been put through a similar hell. When my fibromyalgia flared up on one occasion my husband also became ill (they were diagnosed with diabetes and anaemia).
Moray Council social work department has no real frame work for dealing with chronic illness whether that is the child or the parent. My fibromyalgia was regularly compared to me having an alcohol or drug problem by the department. All I can say is if they send me to rehab I promise to kick the pain and fatigue habit. There were concerns when they came in first… my family was struggling to cope and I had those same damn concerns myself. But the approach was not about helping my family it was pure and simple interference with professionals taking credit for something they hadn’t done.
My fibromyalgia and Mr Kimlin’s health issues had seen us in a mess before – we didn’t have social work on our back that time so when we came out of it the mess took about three weeks for us to straighten up and get back on our feet. With social work “help” it took over a year and a half. The issues went from being genuine to being about a crust under the sofa, me not vacuuming every day and a bathroom bin my boys had knocked over.
A computer without its case was declared unsafe. My husband is a computer technician with over ten years experience, they knew that, but they could not accept that there was nothing unsafe about the arrangement (well the kids might have hit their heads on it). If it had been unsafe we wouldn’t have left it like that.
Both Mr Kimlin and myself have our own areas of expertise and education but that was constantly brushed aside and ignored. By the end of it my confidence was destroyed and I was made to feel worthless. If a husband had treated me the way the social work had it would be classed as emotional abuse. A lady who didn't know me very well stopped me in the park and asked me what was wrong. She said: "I used to admire the way you dealt with your kids and you seem to be struggling now." I had gone from being a pretty good mum to a shouty, unhappy and miserable individual As a family we had stopped laughing.
Less serious than in Clare’s case, but along the same lines my son has a squint and my daughter got covered in either hives or bites. The opthamologist, orthoptist and my GP were happy with how I handled both situations. However, Moray Council were not. It was a constant battle that cost the NHS more money than it needed to spend. I do wonder with these people whether they realise that public money is not infinite so should be spent wisely.
If they are going to investigate every family who has the issues we were by the end they are going to be so busy that children genuinely in danger will get missed. As it is I think the department is a Baby P case waiting to happen because of their singular inability to listen to families.
Fault was found where there was no fault to be found. When my sons sat for over an hour at a table with an educational psychologist because that's what they did with me on a regular basis it was suggested they did that because they were starved of attention.
There was never any focus on the real issue which was two sick parents who needed help. We did eventually receive a family support worker but by that point we were getting back on our feet and whilst she was fabulous we didn’t need her any more.
All the departmern did was cost the tax payer money and waste their time which could have been spent helping a family which they had the resources to help. Although I am sure that my case files will say how much they achieved with our family.
The constant interference left my family damaged. It’s a damage that my older two children have not recovered from and there are times I still cry over the harm done to them. A social work investigation should not harm the children. We should be getting it right for ever child and the current approach across the UK today does not do that. It probably harms more children than it saves. That isn’t good for anyone because it creates a divide and because there are so many stories there are many people who would think twice before reporting concerns.
A later incident saw me “referred to the children’s panel” over ussanding the floors, two mouldy courgettes in a vegetable box and the fact my daughter had a panic attack when they were mentioned. There may have been more concerns but I refused to let them in the house. I placed referred to the children’s panel in quotes because I have the letter that said I had been referred and my health visitor was told I had been referred. However, after three months of worry (which covered two children’s birthdays) I phoned the reporter to the children’s panel only to be told they had never heard of me. But again the incident was typical. The work being done wasn't seen only the work undone and instead of seeing a vegetable box as evidence of a healthy diet the two mouldy ones (which I didn't by the way feed to the children) were focused on.
What happened to my family was very much degrading treatment. If the SNP claim to back the ECHR then a complete overhaul of the way Social Work and Education departments across Scotland respond to families who have a strong, decent basis but need help needs to change. Giving me a cleaner for a week to help me get straight would have achieved more and cost less. I should add that a lot of the promised help never arrived either.
Children and families are not boxes to be ticked. They are people who need to be listened to and yes sometimes those families need help. Moray Council and the Scottish Government don’t want to GIRFEC they want ECFAB (Every Child to Fit a Box) – children to fit neatly into those beautiful triangle and circular boxes they’ve designed. But every child and every family does not fit that model. Most families have love at their base and as long as there is no abuse they muddle through most calamities.
I am a rubbish poet but I wrote this about my time under the cosh of Moray Council:
Rifle through my drawers
nothing to her taste – too cheap for her
She blew her nose on them
then hung them on the line
Hoisted it on the roof.
Took a can of spray paint
and daubed my house
and my life
and my soul.
You don't deserve to parent.
You felt you were more important than my children
Your needs came first.
No I don’t feel.
You rendered me unable to feel.
Faced with rebellion
she brought out the threats
the heavy guns
To blow away my family.
But she did not succeed
5000 words of complaint
made the blood drain
headless chickens came out
like Tom Sawyer
Her mates whitewashed
We were dropped
unhelped but injured
to lick our own wounds
and repair their damage.
But that harm will always be
etched upon my children
their confidence knocked
their trust for authority damaged.
This Yes Minister Clip comes to mind:
The Kimlin Family