Friday, January 22, 2010

Fife Council Child Snatchers

I used to say "I" and "me"
Now it's "us", now it's "we"
Ben, most people would turn you away
I don't listen to a word they say
They don't see you as I do
I wish they would try to
I'm sure they'd think again
If they had a friend like Ben

from Ben by Michael Jackson

The problems is for one little Ben that chance may not be forthcoming. Earlier this week Fife Council put him on at risk-register once they were aware that he had been born last Friday. At four days old Irish Social services came and took the baby away from his mother and father.

His mother 17 year-old Kerry Robertson has mild learning difficulties, but Fife Council consider that she is incapable of raising the baby. The fact is that they found the mother and her 25 year old partner Mark McDougall because having fled Scotland when she was 29 weeks pregnant she kept up all her checks and scans in Ireland. So the fact that the couple were capable of looking after an unborn babies well being led Fife Council to them in Waterford.

John Hemming, Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley, actually believes that the removal of baby from his parents under the protection order in Ireland is actually illegal. And says:

"There is no evidence that Mark and Kerry cannot be good parents and I just hope that the Irish authorities can resolve this as quickly as possible."

Now I know there has been some slop handed social services work in protecting real at risk children but the evidence in this case is not proven. As the FTO the South African News Blog points out:

Lets just say things was different and Kerry had no learning difficulties and she died at childbirth, no one would take Ben from his father. Why is this so different? Even if Kerry was unable to care for the child she is not alone, she has a partner who is committed and loving with a supporting family.

Indeed they also report:

When Mark McDougall saw Ben's care order there was a different name on it and date of birth. He believes social services has kidnapped his baby. Who can blame him?

So we come to Fife council whose executive director of social work, Stephen Moore said:

"I can confirm that although the Robertson family are not presently within Fife, we are committed to working closely with professional colleagues elsewhere to ensure safety and welfare of the child and indeed the whole family as this is of paramount concern to us.

Now herein lies a major fault in what they say. Kerry had been doing just that. The two midwifes who had been caring for her and Ben fled the room in tears when the social services took the infant away from his mother and father. David Cameron may want to lock single parents up in the poor house, but here is a father who has stuck by the mother of child, even though the council had also stepped in to stop their marriage. Both parents are being denied the chance to prove they are capable parents because of an arbitrary decision made by some council official.

Had they asked the medical staff for evidence of their ability in the days since Ben's birth? It doesn't appear that they did, or if they did they went against that advice. With a sister-in-law who is a midwife I know how carefully the early days of a child's life are observed by those around the ward. They insure that the child and the parents are going to get the best start. They are the experts, they can spot if there is going to be any difficulties, not some paper pusher who thinks that someone's IQ is below a line in the sand.

Each case should be assessed on its merits. Fife council have not done so in this case, they made a decision long before full term as to the mother's ability irrespective of other situations such as her partner it appears.

Here in GMTV's report into the case back in October. You can even see how much Mark cares for Kerry and the unborn child at the time. Mark Goldring the expert from Mencap says that Fife at that time said they would look at all the facts and circumstances. Judge from yourself if that is the case. I feel that they have not.

UPDATE: Here is a letter from Morgan Gallagher of 'Nursing Matters' to Mr Moore of Fife Social Services and Nicola Sturgeon the Scottish Health Minister.

UPDATE 2: If you have been touched by this story join the Facebook Group to show your support. One comment from Mark MacDougall on there:

"Kerry has already proved Fife very wrong as all the medical staff at hospital nothing but praise for her parenting skills."

Read Also: A similar tale from Essex which makes you wonder just what can spark such decisions even more.


Jess The Dog said...

I would not trust Fife Council to make a sound decision in this regard and I can't see how they have any authority outwith the local authority boundaries. I think this will end up in the courts and the taxpayers of Fife will bear the cost of this Nazi decision.

Tapestry said...

Fife Social Services should be ***bed. How else can these NAZIs be stopped.

fedupandmad said...

Surely Ben, having been born in the Republic of Ireland is an Irish citizen, and as such is protected by the Irish Constitution, under which he has "the inalienable right to the society of his parents or parent"
My father spent two years fighting the Irish Government in the fifties in order to have me released from an Industrial school; it was the Constitution that clinched it in the end.

Unknown said...

neil craig said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stephen Glenn said...

Neil I have deleted your comment for it's unfounded allegations. You have been warned in the past.

Tania and Andrew on Pegasus said...

Thank you. please keep on this case. my best wishes.

neil craig said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stephen Glenn said...

For your own good Neil I have deleted your libellous comment.

Kimberly Carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kimberly Carrie said...

Personally I Think The Uk's View On This Is Disgraceful! I Mean Kerry Is Capable Of Looking After Herself And A Child Clearly She Will Need Some Help But She Is A Loving Careing Person The Fact That She Has Mild Difficulties Is Nothing To Do With It, I Think It's The History Of The Family And Kerry Is Being Frowned Upon Because Of This! It's Ridiculous How Drug Addicts And Alcoholics Can Bring Children In This World And Be Eligible To Get Married! Typical! I Feel Strongly On This And Hope That The Scottish Laws Can Seriously Think Whether They Are Doing More Good Than Wrong! It's Cruel.

Unknown said...

What's the latest on this story? Is there some sort of silencing order in place?


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