Child protection policy is a mess, says report
- Martin Bentham, Social Affairs Correspondent,
Sunday Telegraph, 13oct02, p2
THE GOVERNMENT is compromising the safety of children by failing to protect them adequately from the dangers of abuse and violent attacks, according to a damning report by its own child safety watchdogs.
The report, to be published tomorrow by the chief inspectors of eight Government services responsible for young people, -says that ministers are giving " insufficient priority" to the safeguarding of children.
It highlights inadequacies in the monitoring of dangerous individuals, including suspected paedophiles, and says that Government agencies were often "confused" and had "no consistency”, particularly in their failure to pass on information about potential threats.
The report, Safeguarding Children, also says that there are "severe difficulties" in the recruitment and retention of child protection workers, which are "directly impacting" on children's safety. "The safety of children is being compromised because of insufficient priority being given to the safeguarding of children," the report concludes.
"All areas were struggling to respond to unconvicted people who present a high risk of harm to the public, including children," the report states. "The Home Office should implement a national policy framework as a matter of priority to develop a more consistent approach to the assessment and management of potentially dangerous people."
The findings, which have been presented to four Cabinet ministers, led by David Blunkett, the Home Secretary; will be an embarrassment to the Government. They follow a succession of child killings which have exposed serious flaws in the way that young people at risk of abuse or worse are protected.
Among the most disturbing examples was the death of Victoria Climbie, an eight-year-old girl, who was murdered in February 2000 after prolonged abuse by her aunt, Marie Theresa Kouao, and the woman's boyfriend, Carl Manning.
The report, by the chief inspectors of constabulary, prisons, probation, social services, schools, and the Crown Prosecution Service, among others, includes 30 recommendations to prevent further tragedies.
A serious concern, it says, is how "potentially dangerous persons" are dealt with by the relevant state authorities. The inspectors said that they found "confusion" about who such individuals were, and “no consistency" in how police, probation officers and' others carried out their job of ensuring that dangerous people were not able to threaten youngsters.
‘Amber alerts’ to foil child abductors within minutes
- Andrew Alderson Chief Reporter
Sunday Telegraph, 13oct02, p2
THE POLICE are to launch a radical new project based on the American system of "Amber Alert" in an attempt to find abducted children in Britain before they are murdered or abused.
As soon, as it is known that a child has been snatched, television and radio programmes will be interrupted with a newsflash giving details of the missing boy or girl and, if known, the suspected abductor. Photographs of the child and suspect may be shown on television and electronic road signs beside motorways will be used to alert drivers.
The Child Rescue initiative will be used only in cases of the abduction of a child under 16, where the victim's life is in danger.
These articles can be used to define a split in the men’s movement.
On the one hand are the collaborators, who want to cooperate with an entrenched Establishment, get it to understand and sympathise with the plight of fathers and their children, and fine tune the existing system.
On the other hand are the pessimists. They believe that even if radfems were defeated, and their attacks on the family ceased, there would still not be enough grasp of the crisis by the Establishment for it to be possible for them to institute viable reform.
At present, the Establishment is coming to realise that the crisis cannot be solved if fathers continue to be excluded from reform committees and discussions. However, partly because they do not grasp the scale of the problem, and partly to cover up for their ignorance, they are seeking out the most ignorant wing of the Men’s Movement. The Lord Chancellor and the like are now reporting that they are in discussion with fathers’ representatives. The crisis has reached the point when they now need to be able to claim that they are in consultation with fathers. However, Establishment committees will only allow token men into their deliberations, and those men have to be poorly informed so that they will not expose the crass ignorance of all government officials. When a father’s representative exhibits too much expertise, he is expelled from the relevant committees. This has frequently happened to the lead expert, Robert Whiston, Chairman of ManKind.
As I said to the deputy head of CAFCASS, we will not be able to communicate enough factual information and insight to his and to them in time to fend off a deep crisis. (The marker of this deepening crisis will be the continuing escalation in the suicide rate for young men.)
Recently, the Lord Chancellor reported to Estelle Morris in her capacity as an MP that his department was in discussion with a men’s (or fathers’) organisation. This turned out to be discussion with Steve Fitzgerald and one other.
Fathers who are expert in the family court system (which government officials, including judges and the relevant ministers are not) and who know the depth of anger throughout the country have become anxious to keep themselves clear of the blame for what happens during the next fifteen years. Extraordinarily, one expert told a very senior official in the LCD; “You will be amazed if you find out what goes on in the family courts throughout the country.” She did not bridle! Already, one expert father has walked out of a meeting with senior government officials. All the other expert fathers are threatening to separate themselves from government institutions rather than continue the (newly begun) discussions between fathers and government. This is because they feel they will merely be validating fatally flawed “reforms” instituted by ignorant officials steeped to the gills in anti-father radfem propaganda and fraudulent statistics (paid for the our government). A key reason for their withdrawal was the handing over of the CAFCASS “Outcomes” committee to the coven of Leeds women, the centre of anti-father activity in Britain. Expert fathers know that research into the outcomes for children oppressed by the family courts – suicide rate five and ten years later, teenage pregnancy, truanting etc – is a key factor in the pursuit of reform. Expert fathers now see that the reports of the “research” done by such women are dead in the water, and will support the present disastrous status quo, in return for handsome government funding delivered by their sisters in government.
It is reminiscent of the Marx Brothers’ quip; “I would not want to be a member of a club which accepted me as a member.” However, these expert fathers are not dissembling. The depth of ignorance and prejudice of all government officials and politicians has only become clear to them after they were allowed to contribute to the political and reform process, which was very recently. (Up to now, only women, mostly radfems, and a handful of ignorant men were allowed to participate in any way whatsoever in attempts to reform the situation.) The reaction of expert men – to back away after trying for decades to communicate – is perfectly logical. Previously, there was no way for them to establish the broadband ignorance and anti-father prejudice in all government and political institutions.
Another group – fathers from the second rank with limited expertise – will be inducted into the governmental and reform process, and receive their appropriate thirty pieces of silver. Together, they will preside over the deepening crisis.
Ivor Catt 13oct02 + 10dec02