Final Response to Scottish Governments Petition Number 1673. Mo Dhachaidh, South Road, Garmouth, By Fochabers, Morayshire. IV32 7LX. Tel 01343 870310 28^th July, 2018. The Convener, Public Petitions Committee, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP. Dear Convener, *Petition Number 1673* Please find attached my response to the submissions by Social Work Scotland and Scottish Children's Reporter Administration in relation to the request for comments from them by your Committee on 10^th May, 2018, in relation to Petition 1673. Yours faithfully, James A Mackie. *Response by James A Mackie to submissions by Social Works Scotland and the Scottish Children Reporter Administration to Petition Number 1673.* ** Fully supported in this by the Scottish Dadscare Charity www.dadscare.org.uk 1/This response has been compiled from comments by mothers, family members, advocates, lawyers and professionals in child protection, all of whom have experienced firsthand the points in Petition 1673. I have knowledge of the misuse/misinterpretation of both legislation and guidelines by “professionals” in order to take children in to care for periods of years, often for life.There is great dismay as to why Who Dares? Scotland (a major contributor to the Independent Care Review Group) and Circle Scotland failed to respond to your request for comments. There are concerns over the personal interest/involvement in Children's Hearings by Rona Mackay, MSP. Should she exclude herself from further discussion/decisions on Petition 1673 or not. 2/Nobody disputes that in some cases children need to be taken into care and children may have better outcomes than if left at home. The concerns are about high numbers being taken into care (with the majority being denied any form of access/communication with mothers and family – all contrary to the Legislation and Government guidelines) unnecessarily leading to major and serious long term outcomes for children and their families.The terms assault, abuse and neglect are key elements in every application to Sheriff Courts or Children's Hearings.A family member grabbing an errant child by the clothing to prevent that child causing serious injury to themselves or another is classed as assault. Parents who shout at an errant child to stop them running into harm e.g. a roadway are accused of verbal abuse.Failing to iron the clothes of a 2 and 4 year old has been listed as a sign of neglect. Parents and family members who question a social worker are automatically classed as being non-engaging, therefore a threat to the child. 3/Within politicians, every part of the “Corporate Parent” group and charities (some of whom have a large commercial and financial interest in the status quo) there is an institutional and engrained belief that every mother is a threat to a child, therefore that child needs to be taken into care.There are over 60 Government and Local Government agencies and bodies as Corporate Parents responsible for “looked after children” The public question why so many organisationsare involved in child protection – organisations such as Scottish Fire and Rescue for one. 4/In her summing up on 10^th May, 2018, the Convener, *Joanne Lamont, MSP* hit the nail firmly on the head when she said clearly/“…..//in relation to the petition, we would want to look at whether we are inappropriately bringing children into care because there is not enough support or because there is a mindset that says that that is the solution.”/*Brian Whittle, MSP*said *“…..*/in raising the issue, the petitioner continues to keep child protection at the forefront. I also agree with you, convener, in that there are some issues around early intervention that still have to be addressed.It would not do any harm to continue to flag that and investigate it.” /*Michelle Ballantyne, MSP *said*/“/*/Because this is quite a complicated area, which spreads into what we are doing on vulnerable two-year-olds and the early years, there is a big conversation to be had about how we support families and how we prevent children from ending up in the hearings system and in care.”/*Maggie Mellon* in a previous submission to the Scottish Parliament, said :- “/children are often more harmed by separation than by anything they were suffering at home/.” 5/The question in child protection is why are so many children (1.6% to 2% of all children) in Scotland are being “looked after” by Corporate Parents. The Lord Clyde Orkney enquiry of 1991/92 was the closest legal enquiry into how children were taken into care.That case was based on accusations of sexual abuse within a group of families.Lord Clyde made a total of 185 recommendations, most of which have been ignored in child protection since then. In his report he made many comments and suggestions about improving Children’s Hearings. The Rt Hon Lady Ann Smith enquiry is about abuse in care that occurred some 30 to 50 years ago. It is historic and has no relationship to current practices. 6Much is said about the current Independent Care Review Group. It is not “independent”.Members are either employed by organisationsthat are heavily involved in child protection or have been appointed by organisations involved in the care of “looked after children”. Among the members, three organisations are under complaints investigation nationally, both internally and externally under civil law for the way they have dealt with families and child protection matters.Over 60% of the secretariat including the secretariat leader all have back grounds in child protection.Therefore there are no members who are completely independent of child protection, particularly “looked after children”. Considering that all child protection matters are governed by legislation, it is strange that no fully trained legal person is a member of the Review Group.Further concerns are there are no representation by mothers or families where their children have been and are still in care. Having made a 200 page plus submission to the Independent Review Group, met with the Secretariat Leader and studied all their publications and enquiry directions, the remit for the Independent Care Review Group is purely to look at the situation of children once in care.The Independent Care Review Group does not have the remit, qualified persons or resources to carry out the enquiry requested by Petition 1673 into how so many children end up in care. 7/Over the years there have been a number of “independent” reviews and enquiries into all aspects of child protection but excluding how children came into the system, on what grounds they were taken into care and the psychological, social and financial outcomes for the child, parents and family. Each review/enquiry was carried out by individual organisationswithin child protection.Each organisation appointed its own committee members, set the remit, protocols and procedures for the review/enquiry. All were set up to look at procedures within the system, not the outcome for children and parents. Most “evidence” was gathered by the use of questionnaires designed by the organisation, all of which were worded to give the response the organisation wanted – i.e. confirmation of their mode of operation. The net result is the situation we are in today where more and more children are ending up “looked after” not at home while legislation, Court judgement and Government guidelines are total ignored. 8/Social Work Scotland refers to the Child Protection System Review. It was commissioned by Mark McDonald MSP, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, to examine the role and function of Child Protection Committees; the use of Child Protection Registers and Child Protection Case Conferences; and the efficacy of Significant and Initial Case Reviews and to recommend what changes or improvements may be needed to these underpinning processes and structures in order to protect children more effectively. The Review did not examine why children came into care, it only reviewed current practices and took evidence from “professionals”. The report does not indicate any contact with children and families on the taking of children into care.It did not cover any of the main issues within Petition 1673. The report reinforces and imbeds current practice in the current system of “looked after Children”. The recently published report “Falling Through The Cracks” by Kezia Dugdale. MSP, should be read and understood by all Corporate Parents. It identifies 84 children who have died in care in the past 10 years. 9/In a system where mothers are being accused of abuse, neglect and assault on their children, it is both morally wrong and a clear breach of Article 6, therefore Article 8 of the ECHR to say that it is correct that the child protection system should be carried out under a civil legal system rather than at the higher standards of a criminal Court. To remove legal representation from Children's Hearings would bea very serious breach of ECHR and would give Corporate Parents a far stronger control over the lives of Looked after Children, many of whom alreadyhave serious outcomes.Each child and parent is legally entitled to representation at a Hearing. To remove them would leave very emotional and psychological traumatised mothers and parents with no help whatsoever against what many lawyers and others describe as social workers reports that are full of mis and dis information and lies. There are no statistics available to show how many mothers/parents have been dealt with under criminal law, surely a much required step to prove that the child needs taken into care. Even when cleared in a criminal investigation, the original complaint is still used against the mother to have children taken into care.SCRA state in their response that Local Authorities have a lack of resources to provide proper family support.They state that many LA’s do not have any family support services available, hence reason more children are taken into care. That can only be classed as a major disgrace.However, unable to provide family support, Local Authorities are prepared to pay high sums of money to Foster Carers (who have to be registered as self-employed with HMRC). Foster parents are paid between £11000.00 and £36,000, per child per year plus other expenses.It is estimated that Foster carers in Scotland are paid between £240 million and £430 million per year from public funds. The higher sum would employ approximately 9000 professionally trained family officers to support families in their own home. 10/Between the different Corporate Parent Groups, classification of children and reference titles are confusing and misleading by name.Supervision Orders, Looked after Children and Referrals to Hearings are all words used to describe the same figures.Social Works Scotland website shows that in 2016/17 there were 14897 children “looked after” and a further 2631 children on Child Protection Orders. A total of 16780 Of “looked after children” 3766 (25%) were looked after at home, down from 43% in 2007. No figures are available for residency of children on the Child Protection Orders.“Legally secure permanence’, has increased every year since 2012, and now stand at 2,064, a 4% increase on 2016. 11/Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration figures for the same year show the following. 9996 on compulsory Supervision Orders of which 4486 (45%) were at home. Why is there such a discrepancy between the two organisations?Does any organisation know how many children are actually “looked after” at any one time and how many are with parents?SCRA statistics show 20% of these referred are offenders.The same statistics show that 75% of all referrals to Hearings are by the police.SCRA tend to base a lot of their statistics on “referral” numbers. That is completely misleading as one person can be referred on a number occasions and does not give a true figure of how many “looked after children” there are within the system.Both Social Works Scotland and Scottish Childrens Reporter Administration web pages provide very long complicated spread sheets of data that the layman has great difficulty trying to understand. As Kezia Dugdale, MSP, states in her report, far too much information is not available as to the reality of children in care and afterwards.That is a major problem across all of child care. *The real cause of problems within Child Protection in Scotland* The centre of child protection in Scotland is the Children's Hearing.Set up in 1971 their remit was purely to dispose of juvenile offenders who had either admitted their guilt or had been found guilty in a Sheriff Court.The idea was to remove juveniles from the criminal court system and dispose of the cases in a more sympathetic and caring manner. It allowed individuals to enter adult life without criminal convictions except in very serious cases. Panel members to the Hearings were and still are lay people.Their training was and is on how to run a Children's Hearing and what decisions they could make in dealing with juvenile offenders.They made their decisions on reports compiled and submitted by social workers.SCRA was and still is an administrative body tasked with the management/administration of Children's Hearings. Children's Hearings had no remit or training in hearing evidence from social workers and the mother/parent to decide for themselves the merit of the allegations against the child/mother/parent. Today,(47 years on) the situation is completely different but the remit, role and function of Children's Hearings has not changed.Since 1971, the number of offending children to welfare children appearing in hearings has gone from 100% to 20%. Social workers still produce and submit reports to the Panel Members and/or the Sheriff.In applications to Sheriff Courts, especially to have children taken into care or parental rights moved, the parents are very rarely informed in advance and submissions/reports are not submitted under oath.The “evidence” laid before the Sheriff by the Reporter is a social workers opinion of the situation. No further enquiries are done or anybody representing the child and mother/or parents is asked for their opinion of the “evidence”. The Sheriff does not have the opportunity to hear the child/mother/parents arguments or questioning of the information submitted to the Sheriff. The child/mother/parents, because of the secrecy, do not have the opportunity to have legal representation at the Hearings which are always held in private and often out with the Sheriff Court.In one recent case, and only with the intervention of an MSP, a mother discovered that without her knowledge, a solicitor who had had no contact of any kind with the family, represented her in a Hearing. The net result is that a Sheriff or Children's Panel have no option but follow the social workers report and make an order for the child to be taken into or kept in care. Once a child has been taken into care through this process, there must be a “48 hour Hearing”.That is in front of a Children's Hearing.Depending on weekend days and public holidays the “48 hour” meeting may take upwards of 4 days. As said above, the Panel Members have no remit or training on hearing evidence from either side, whereby they can make a balanced decision. All they can do is make a decision on the reports submitted to the Sheriff by the social workers. It should be borne in mind that children/mothers/parents are normally in a state of emotional and psychological trauma as a result of their children having being removed from the family (at any time of the day or night), have had very little chance to read the information given to them when the children are removed from the home or to instruct solicitors. From the mother/parents viewpoint it is a case of “guilty until you prove your innocence”.In his report Lord Clyde states:- “/It is by no means clear that a Sheriff would feel particularly qualified to challenge at his own hand the combined opinion of professionals who had been consulted and the feeling that the decision is little more than an endorsement of a decision reached by others could well be experienced by a Sheriff as well as a Children's Hearing”./ The only information that a Children's Hearing receive for a Hearing is the report of the social workers.With such short notice given of the contents of the papers (3 days), very very few parents have the time and skills to challenge any of the contents. As said, the Children's Hearing does not have the remit or training to sit as a judicial body receiving information/evidence from both parties and making a balanced judgement. No minutes/records are kept of a Children's Hearing, only the final decision.Challenges to the contents of the social workers report are ignored and never recorded.The net result is that the social workers report is filed without amendments and goes unchallenged for future Hearings. Neither Children’s Hearing Scotland or SCRA have procedures for dealing with complaints that information submitted to a Hearing is incorrect or even lies. Children/mothers/parents when making such complaints are advised to take the complaint up with the Local Authority/other body. It is the experience of mothers/parents/relevant persons that such complaints are denied by the Local Authority/other body and the complainant referred to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman or appropriate authority.Only the procedures in handling the complaint can be examined.Even if procedures have been found to be incorrect, the original complaint cannot be reexamined. Appeals to the Sheriff on a Children's Hearing Decision are held on procedural grounds. In some cases Sheriffs have refused to uphold an appeal on the grounds that there has been no written reason from the Children's Hearing as to how they came by their decision. Social workers and Children's panel members have no training qualifications in a wide range of medical conditions including and particularly learning disabilities/difficulties. Yet they continue to make decisions purely on their opinion.In upholding an Appeal on 1^st March, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that in one case, decisions on the case in Scotland had been made purely on opinion with no evidence to back them up. In his report Lord Clyde made many observations on the workings of Children's Hearings, most of which have been ignored. There is no method/system whereby parents can challenge false reports to Children's Hearings and a Sheriff Court. The net result is an increasing number of “looked after children”. For clarification of the operation of a Children's Hearing, the Petitions Committee may consider asking the Scottish Criminal Justice Council to produce a report on the current system, its compliance with current legislation and compatibility with the ECHR. In doingso the SCJC may interview families who have encountered the system rather than the professionals working within the system. Dadscare charity agrees 100% and it is the most complete and honest reponse to date -- James A Mackie (Agricultural), Mo Dhachaid, South Road, Garmouth, Moray, IV32 7LX, Tel 01343 870310. www.jamesamackie.com
Monthly Archives: July 2018
Trump flip-flop is now the all-time biggest flip-flopper ever and its so funny, how can America support such a flip-flop leader.
I thought he cleared this all up last week when he said itv was them after all – what have they got on him, we all know what his son said a few years back we make more money from Russia than all other interests put together, was he lying or just another Flip Flop apprentice in the making?
TRUMP IN DEEP TROUBLE.
Trump in deep trouble, we have heard it so many times, this website has told you for years Trump is bad news and did anyone listen?
Trump in deep trouble with the Stormy latest, Mr Trump was asked on airforce one “did you know about the payment”? NO he says, is he for real, his body language was all over the place – he thought who is going to find out and besides even if the do my base will just think its fake news as they believe anything I say anyway, not anymore?
Not this time trumpy, Trump in deep trouble he sure is and tonight our contacts are saying its a lot more severe then trumpy could ever have thought theres recorded tapes everywhere in CNN is reporting the same info as we have been told?
Trump knows if International Scotland says something we are always spot on, we were the first blog to say it loud and say it proud that trumpy hates gays and we were right way back http://internationalscotland.com/2016/07/donald-trump-hates-gays/ in 2016 he used to read this site daily as we have had more than our fair share of legal run-ins with him his so-called super doper all singing, all dancing usless web team that cant even w3c validate his websites just makes us laugh!
He tried bully us and took us to WIPO who broke every regulation in their books just to say yes Mr Trump three bags full, anything you say sir!
Trump in deep trouble and even he can’t climb out of the hole he himself has dug and hes an expert hole digger, just ask the then 84 yearold Molly Forbes around 10 years ago, yes he tried to bully her as well?
Then there was last week, we are not going to comment on that other than saying he was caught out lying again with the Sun newspaper, the guy is a Liar, Liar Trumps Pants are on Fire and Trump in deep trouble! yeeha!
Although he loves to be in the news and that poor Mrs Trump, I hope he’s done the right thing and went down on his knees and asked for forgiveness? Your joking, no-way his massive ego would allow such personal weakness or he would have to ask his best bud Vlad to give him a slap special at his next very private meeting in September if hes still in the oval office that is?
Why has the American press not asked the first lady her thoughts on all this begs the biggest question they were never this slow when Mrs Clinton was being asked what poor Monn* was doing under Mr Clintons office desk?
Last night he proved Trump was in Deep Trouble by doing what he always does he comes out with utter rubbish on fake news and blames them for himself making a fool of himself again over Russia, they must be loving this stuff!
TRUMP must own the copyright of FLIP-FLOP as he does it almost every day on all things Russia even they must wonder if this guy is of stable mind?
If Trump is in big trouble then so are all of us including the Russian people, be carefull for what you wish for, lol.
Sony Xperia Overheating Problems Confirmed.
Virgin Media HQ has just confirmed that the long suffering owners of Sony Experia’s has a overheating issue with the camera and ony of Sony’s acreditted repairer has confirmed in writing its not considered as a faulty item, really lets examine that statement.
First all goods supplied to UK customers must be;
Goods to be of satisfactory quality
(1)Every contract to supply goods is to be treated as including a term that the quality of the goods is satisfactory.
(2)The quality of goods is satisfactory if they meet the standard that a reasonable person would consider satisfactory, taking account of—
(a)any description of the goods,
(b)the price or other consideration for the goods (if relevant), and
(c)all the other relevant circumstances (see subsection (5)).
(3)The quality of goods includes their state and condition; and the following aspects (among others) are in appropriate cases aspects of the quality of goods—
(a)fitness for all the purposes for which goods of that kind are usually supplied;
(b)appearance and finish;
(c)freedom from minor defects;
Then we have another important factor;
Goods to be fit for particular purpose!
Goods to be as described
(1)Every contract to supply goods by description is to be treated as including a term that the goods will match the description.
(2)If the supply is by sample as well as by description, it is not sufficient that the bulk of the goods matches the sample if the goods do not also match the description.
In what Virgin Media said in writing to the admin of this website after putting his SONY XZ back to Virgin Media’s repair team Unipart the following information that will have SONY going mental.
This was Virgin Media’s head office reply after I sent it back for the 6th time for my XZ overrheating everytime it went back to UNIPART they said FAULT FOUND – WE FIXED IT – just like they said the same thing last week that just happens to be on the same day to the same phone so virgin says no fault, their repairer UNIPART says there was and they fixed it, confused, we all are!
But we can all agree on one thing the camera overheats and unipart agrees there was indeed a fault and they repaired, well no it was all lies, it came back almost as bad as it went, you may have noticed the word prolonged in virgins response well the camera can overheat after 30 seconds and I put up a youtube video of this phone in question here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTuxpGX-OGo that overheats after 3 mins in Scotland the hottest country in the world, not!
This proves the phone is not fit for purpose anyone else got these issues if so please share your story with others on this new and just opened on this weblink for; VIRGIN MEDIA DISPUTE WEBSITE media complaints
Virgin Mobile Phone Complaints
Virgin Mobile Phone Complaints is on the increase and its not just about signal quality now its about ripping off customers if your Virgin Mobile Develops a serious fault.
Who would have thought it possible that VIRGIN MEDIA would sink so low as to try and rip off customers by only offering the current handset value if any phone should become unrepairable rather than a straight refund or replacement and they want their customers to pay off their remaining credit aggreements!
So in effect Virgin is saying lets forget all about the sale of goods act we decide what your going to get, if anything at all?
For example Virgin could in theory supply a faulty phone and three months later the customer finds out and asks for a refund, the phones mifght be a samsung s9+ at £900 but virgin values are trade in prices which would mean the customer losing over 60% of the handsets price at point of sale?
Who in their right minds would want to purchase a phone on these stupid and scary terms, Virgin handset prices are also well above market prices in general in the first place although their airtime packages are very good value.
Of course if they keep sending your handset away for repair many times they dont care as your still paying off your handset and all the while your phone is losing value?
Look below and see a post seen on virgin medias facebook page this weekend and make up your own mind on how they refund faulty goods and the value they place on customer services.
They are also deleting customer comments that they deem bad news stories for them as their fibre broadband seems to be in meltdown all over the country?
Have you had your facebook posts deleted if you have post your complaints to this new virgin distpute website www.mediacomplaints.co.uk