Written evidence submitted by Florence Bellone
Step by step I was admitted inside family groups and could collect parents witnessing, see their evidence and court paperwork. Their psychiatric expertises picking up every little neurosis, life traumatism and element of personality to call them “mental health troubles” ; their social workers reports with incoherent series of allegations, fake evidence and lies ; the repressive and arbitrary style of every piece of paper deemed “confidential”; the denunciations, the anonymity of denunciators and experts as well, all this looked as a repetition of Vichy France, Nazi Germany, Stalin Russia or any totalitarian regime catalogue of repression tools. The amount of suffering and humiliation inflicted on innocent families “In the Best Interest of the Child” made me think of women tortured in Middle East “in the name of Allah”.
In January 2010, ironically, the leaders of the three big political parties produced in Parliament public apologies for the 70 years of Migrant Children programme. Only one thing changed from the end of that programme : the children are staying in the UK. They are adopted, in foster care or in children home.
To get a more complete insight into the system, I learnt how to be a basic McKenzie Friend. I say a basic one because this denomination includes from the profane knowing the law and asking right for audience to the supporter whispering advice to the parents in court and not able to challenge illegalities by the book. When legal aid is not available anymore for them, many parents become litigants in person but they are not enough experienced MKFs available for all of them. Hearings with parents allowed me to see how judges dealt with them. Also I could attend hours of assessments and pre-birth assessments of parents by social workers and other professionals involved in the process.
- Child Protection System Is Failing Older Children, Mps Warn (towardchange.wordpress.com)