Mutual Expectations – A Charter For Parents And Local Authority Children’s Services

This Charter(1) aims to promote effective, mutually respectful partnership working between practitioners and families when children are subject to statutory intervention. Such intervention can involve child welfare and family justice, mental health, education and youth justice systems.

This Charter is written for parents,(2) local authorities and their partner agencies and those working for them.

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The Frustration of the Text Based World

black-board-dyslexiaMy life as a severely dyslexic person can be overwhelmingly frustrating, upsetting, humiliating and just down right depressing sometimes in the text based world.

I really hate paperwork. The thought of filling in a form or having to search through piles of data looking for the letter you were supposed to rely to but forgot or the form attached to a letter to be filling in and returned with the envelope provided and having to search for all three then get help to fill them in from my son is such an ordeal.

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Restructure the child-welfare system


The status quo in Washington’s child welfare system is not working. The Legislature should restructure services into a new Department of Children, Youth and Families.

Seattle Times editorial board
The Seattle Times

WASHINGTON spends about $500 million a year on its child welfare safety net, and most of that is spent after a family is already in crisis. Social workers, often carrying untenable caseloads, are squeezed between their professional commitment to protect vulnerable kids and the fractures in society caused by intergenerational poverty and substance abuse.

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Much more can be done to support birth parents pre and post-adoption


The adoption of their children can be life-altering for birth parents, but often they receive insufficient practical and emotional support

By Amanda Lodge

Adoption decisions are often made at a very vulnerable stage after giving birth. A recent report from Legal Action for Women also highlighted that mothers on low incomes, those with learning difficulties and teenage mums are particularly vulnerable to having their children adopted.

The voices of birth parents whose children are adopted can go unheard, however. In my case, as a young care leaver who hadn’t yet turned 18, there was seemingly little regard or compassion for what was the most difficult and selfless act I could have taken when trying to decide what was best for my baby.

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It’s been a year since social services closed my case and I still feel shaken by what happened. I was accused of emotionally abusing my daughter. There was no evidence, just opinion and speculation and random quotes about how children whose parents have a mental health condition “could” be affected. Sarah had always been a confident girl who made friends easily but middle school was a shock. Right from the start she was bullied. I spent so much time making phone calls and trips to the school, without success, that it began to take a toll on my health as well. I visited the GP with symptoms of stress and anxiety. Worried about the impact of this on my daughter, I asked social services for help. In three years, we had five different social workers. Maybe I was unlucky but our experience with the first four was not positive. Chloe, the fifth, was different.


In November 2016 Par gave a presentation and Q & A session on Parents rights, advocacy and trauma awareness to 2nd year social work and social science students at Edinburgh University, which was much appreciated and very much valued by the students.


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Protect the human: don’t stunt love


Protect the human: don’t stunt love

Maggie Mellon asks why we have children and what makes a parent. Drawing on her own experience of motherhood, she looks at how parents face very different situations when they bring a child into the world: 

Over 25 years ago, at nearly midnight on 21 December 1989, I had my first child by caesarean section in the Whittington Hospital in north London. I was 36 years old, had a full-time job, nearly a year’s paid maternity leave to look forward to, a three-bedroom house with a garden and just as, if not more, important, a partner who was as happy as I was to become a parent.

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