Care Review in Scotland wants to hear from parents and families about care

First Minister announces ‘root and branch’ review

First minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced this ‘root and branch’ review of the care system so that we can get it right for the most vulnerable children and young people in Scotland.

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You’re all missing something very important about the rape clause

There may be something far more sinister behind the Tories’ so-called ‘rape clause’

“SEE this fist? You should have been watching the other one!”

My father used to have a game where he would hold up a clenched fist and say, see this hand? Watch this,” and as we watched the hand, he would then bring the other hand up to punch us (gently) on the chin – his message being that it is not the hand being waved in your face you have to watch but the other one coming in with the knock out blow.

The likelihood of an unexpected blow was one lesson he was keen to pass on to us – or to remind himself of. It is one I often forget as I realise I have been watching the wrong fist just before being sideswiped from the other direction.

Continue reading “You’re all missing something very important about the rape clause”

The Three Girls drama is a reminder that staying silent is not an option

Picture: Sophie Mutevelian/BBC

By Nushra Mansuri, professional officer at the British Association of Social Workers

Watching the harrowing BBC drama series ‘Three Girls’ hit a raw nerve for me. In the late nineties, I worked for a third sector organisation and supported young women and girls who were homeless or in a housing crisis – many of whom were fleeing child sexual exploitation. A lot of the work focused on advocating to children’s social care, housing providers, education, police, health and many other services on their behalf.

Continue reading “The Three Girls drama is a reminder that staying silent is not an option”

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

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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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‘IF I EVER NEED A SOCIAL WORKER AGAIN, I HOPE IT’S CHLOE’

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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.

Continue reading “‘IF I EVER NEED A SOCIAL WORKER AGAIN, I HOPE IT’S CHLOE’”

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

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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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We Need to Rethink ‘Bad’ Parents By David Tobis

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Kids who are neglected may be better off remaining with their families with additional support than put into foster care.

We all make mistakes while parenting. We try to be a friend rather than a parent, or we are too strict when comfort is needed. We sometimes scold or hit when exasperation takes over, or we are negligent when depression creeps in. Imagine what our parenting would be like without resources to fall back on — like money, family, friends and connections — and what might be revealed if our lives were constantly scrutinized in public housing, in public hospitals, in public child care and at our child’s public school.

This is the situation for many low-income parents, often single mothers of color, whose children come to the attention of the child-welfare system. Granted, there are horrible situations of abuse, but those are relatively infrequent cases. A recent study in California of all children born there in 1999 found that by the age of 7, 19.8% of them had been reported to the state central registry. That is a strikingly high number, but research from 2011 shows that children nationwide are found to have been abused or neglected in only 18.5% of reported cases. A great majority of cases involve neglect, not abuse — for example by leaving a child home alone, not making sure a child attends school or not having adequate housing.

Continue reading “We Need to Rethink ‘Bad’ Parents By David Tobis”

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