A mum tells John Lewis – take down your ad

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to complain about your false and misleading Christmas advert. 

My much loved child was taken from my sole care for 6 months because I was a victim of his father’s domestic violence. This in itself is deeply unfair and his experience, like many, was nothing like the happy image your advert presents. 

Over six months my child experienced 7 different placements. He came home traumatized and damaged and never recovered in his academic progress. All of his belongings, clothes, toys, photographs and books, which I provided in two large suitcases, along with all the gifts given over six months of twice weekly contacts, had been taken from him. He told me that foster carers immediately ‘threw away’ the brand new shoes he loved and was wearing when police carried him from our home, and replaced them with second hand ones. The foster carers lied to social workers that I had not provided any school uniforms for my child so they were given money to pay for these which they kept and took uniforms from the school lost property bin instead.

My child got nits and conjunctivitis whilst in foster ‘care’ and was seldom able to bathe. His teeth went completely unbrushed. The only parallel between our real life experience and your advert for foster care was that the foster ‘carers’ were, like your customer base, middle class. In fact, my child still says the smell of wine triggers memories of that horrific time.

I work voluntarily in on line support groups for devastated parents whose children have been removed by a system in which none of the legal protections which prevent false imprisonment exist. In this child ‘protection’ system social workers lie freely with complete impunity and vast profits are being made all under the cover of family court secrecy. The support groups see a high proportion of suicides by parents who can no longer take the agony of knowing they will never again see the children they love so much. Unharmed children taken on the grounds that they may be harmed in future. The suicide rate increases dramatically at Christmas so I sincerely hope that your advert will be removed as soon as possible.