Evidence by Legal Action for Women to the Care Crisis Review

Excerpt:

 In our experience, the main reasons for the increase of children being taken into care are:

– Devaluing of the bond between mother and child.

 – Increased poverty as a result of “austerity” cuts particularly affecting single mothers, leading to wrongful accusations of “neglect”.

 – Victims of rape and domestic violence being held responsible for causing their children “emotional harm.

– Men’s “right” to their children being prioritised over women and children’s right to protection from violence.

– Bias against mothers/families who are poor, working class, of colour, have disabilities and/or mental health problems . . . resulting in sexist, racist and anti-working class assumptions/judgements/prejudices by social workers, children’s guardians and psychologists as well as family court judges.

– Refusal by local authorities and professionals to prioritise support for vulnerable families (e.g. not using powers under S17 of the 1989 Children Act and the Care Act to provide financial or other support to enable families to stay together).

– Promotion of adoption as the “gold standard”.

– Privatisation of children’s services so that taking children into care has become a highly profitable business.

– Secrecy of the family courts so that local authorities, professionals and judges are not held publicly accountable for decisions they make and mothers/families are prevented from going public with what has happened to them and seeking support.

– Denial of legal aid as well as poor legal advice

For full evidence see here.

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