Source: Rise Magazine Facebook Page
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.
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.
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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.
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.