A distressing sight

  Al94 22:58 02 Apr 2008

I witnessed a very distressing sight earlier this evening. Without going into the background, of which I have some knowledge, a team of social workers accompanied by police came to a local house for the purpose of taking the youngest child of the family into care, a female around 9/10 years old. The father was distraught and the child hysterical (wife has gone off with another man). The father had to be restrained by the police and was handcuffed. The hysterical child was screaming and pleading for her daddy not to be taken away and trying to pull the handcuffs off him and clinging to him. This all took place outside on the road with many looking on and traffic stopped. No matter what the circumstances (nothing related to abuse) it seemed a dreadful way to handle the situation and very traumatic for the poor child. This would be in what would be considered an upmarket area. I am still shaken by what I saw and really feel this was handled in a very heavy insensitive manner and feel very sorry for all concerned.

  Forum Editor 23:06 02 Apr 2008

but as you readily admit, you only know some of the background. There may well be aspects of this about which you're unaware.

It's probably natural that a child of that age is going to be distressed to see her father being forcibly restrained, but maybe there was no alternative - the father would have been well aware that a care order had been made, and I imagine other less dramatic action had already been tried.

  peg 23:07 02 Apr 2008

poor girl and poor farther it dose seam very insensitive and heavy handed. is it in the child's best interest to handle it like that. i am sure that memory will be etched in to the poor girls mind.

  Forum Editor 23:12 02 Apr 2008

that will be "etched in to the poor girls mind", which might be the reason for the care order being made in the first place.

  peg 23:14 02 Apr 2008

point taken

  Forum Editor 07:41 03 Apr 2008

of how possibly things aren't always as straightforward as at first they might appear:

click here

  Al94 08:33 03 Apr 2008

My point was about the manner in which this action was carried out, I carefully avoided specuation about the underlying reasons which seems to be the direction this thread is being taken down. Ticked as resolved.

  Forum Editor 08:43 03 Apr 2008

you appeared to make a judgment when you said "No matter what the circumstances (nothing related to abuse) it seemed a dreadful way to handle the situation" and "I am still shaken by what I saw and really feel this was handled in a very heavy insensitive manner"

Possibly my responses (for it's obviously me you're referring to) were coloured by that. Care orders aren't automatically executed in that way, and it's possible that the father concerned had plenty of prior warning, and ample opportunity to avert the confrontation. Sometimes Social Services have reason to believe that a parent may abscond with a child if prior notice is given, and that precipitates matters. Alternatively, there may have been reason to think the child was in some kind of imminent danger. This can arise if Social workers believe a father/mother may be in an extremely agitated state as a result of a partner leaving to pursue another relationship.

There could have been all kinds of reasons, so don't take anything I said personally - it wasn't intended as a slight.

  Bingalau 09:23 03 Apr 2008

It's more than likely the wife who went off with another man has gained access to the child and the father has refused to hand her over. Now if it was the other way about the father wouldn't stand a chance of even seeing his child... (Purely speculation base on my son's experience).

  HondaMan 14:30 03 Apr 2008

it is only necessary for the local authority to show to the court "that it has reason to believe" that the child is in danger for an interim care order to be granted. Bear in mind that a local authority will do all that it can to support a child living at home and that proceedings under the Children Act are taken only as a last resort.

The situation may have become uncontrollable so, in the interests of the child, there was no alternative.

A team of social workers, or as I used to call it "mob handed" is the quickest and safest way to secure a child. Yes, it looks and is very dramatic, but the child is safe - and that is what it's all about!

Police are not always involved, they try to negotiate with the parents.

  interzone55 14:58 03 Apr 2008

That's as may be, but it is astonishingly difficult for social Services to removed a child that is in genuine distress, because there's so many hoops to jump through.

On the other hand, when it comes to matters of custody they can simply go round, take the child and if anyone complains get the police to arrest them.

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