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Dated 6th September 2009 17.45 hrs

A Christian group is opposing the call from Martin Narey, Chief Executive of Barnardos, for more children to be taken into care.

Christian Voice, which has been monitoring cases  where Social Services have taken children into care for little or no reason, described Mr Narey's call as 'self-serving' and 'empire-building'. John Hemming MP said Narey was ignorant of the huge numbers of cases where massive injustice has clearly been done.

Martin Narey's latest observations were in today's Observer,

but back in January he wrote the same thing in the Sunday Telegraph.

At that time, John Hemming, Liberal Democrat MP and chairman of Justice for Families, pointed to data from the Department for Children, Schools and Families which showed that among 7,800 children taken into care in 2006, only 1,800 had been returned to their families by March 2007.

"I'm not sure Mr Narey really understands what is going on. Nor am I sure that he has the practical experience," said Mr Hemming. "His basic assertion that more children need to be taken into care and fewer need to be returned to their families ignores the statistics."

Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of the union for family court staff, Napo, also disagreed with Mr Narey's suggestion that more children should be taken into residential care.

"Barnardo's have a vested interest in residential homes because they run some of them," he said scathingly. "All the evidence suggests residential care should be used as little as possible because the experience is damaging."

Just last month, a father and mother lost a case in the Court of Appeal to prevent their daughter being 'freed' for adoption. Their daughter was taken into care after RSPCA officers raided their home. There was never any suggestion that the girl, described as 'thriving and happy', was at any risk of abuse at all. Yet because the father refused to co-operate with Essex Social Services (and why should he?) the Court refused the parents leave to appeal.

Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said: 'Here is another horrifying tale of abduction by Social Services, who have had a child forcibly adopted. The parents have not been found guilty of anything, but a bullying and wicked system of Social Services and family courts have torn this family to pieces.

'The law prevents any mention of the little girl's name, or that of her parents. The 'SS' even instructed the police to ban a protest march by 200 neighbours, family and church members in case the child was identified.

'The family's MP said this is the worst incident he's dealt with in all his years as an MP, and he brought the matter up in the Commons. The family GP expressed his horror, and fully supports the devoted parents.

'For Martin Narey to want more cases like this, which will incidentally result in more business for Barnardos, is entirely self-serving and callously indifferent to the injustice which is being done against children and their families

'He is using anxiety about recent cases, including that of Baby P, to do a bit of empire-building, while the reality is that social services child protection units hit on the easy targets while leaving alone those families - like the baby P one - where they might encounter trouble.

'There should be a complete rethink of the process of taking children into care, 'freeing' for adoption, and an exposure of the vested interests of the care and adoption industries, of which Barnardos is part, where a lot of money is being made out of injustice and misery.'


NOTES: Barnardos is an an adoption and fostering agency which makes placement fee money from children taken into care, placed with foster parents or adopted.  Although it closed its conventional residential homes in 1989, it still has some homes amongst its 394 specialist projects.  ln 2008 Barnardos made £119,247,000 in fees from public authorities, including £50,898,000 for 'family support and placement' and £41,353,000 for 'other services'.  But its Chief Executive is still not satisfied.  Its 2008 report said 'Barnardos will aim to increase the amount of income generated from statutory sources by 4.5% in 2008/9.'  Urging that more children be taken into care will help achieve that objective.

A number of websites provide advice to parents whose children are in danger of being taken into care.  The primary advice is:

  1. Never seek the 'help' of Social Services.  Go to your local church instead, and give them a copy of our advice here:
  2. If you go to your GP, never say you 'can't cope'.
  3. If you take an injured child to the doctors or to casualty, always provide an explanation for the injury.
  4. Never publicly criticise your partner.
  5. Always keep your children clean, tidy and washed.  Don't draw attention to yourself.
  6. If you do come to the attention of Social Services: Be polite to them but NEVER believe anything social workers say,
  7. Insist they put all promises in writing,
  8. Never sign anything they put in front of you (they have no power without a court order),
  9. Let your words be few.
  10. Never agree to your child going into care, even temporarily - it's an admission of guilt.

More valuable advice is here:

And here:  Ian Josephs catalogues an incredible amount of horrifying stories and information on his website, and offers valuable help and advice to parents.  He lists a solicitor and barristers (you can tell any solicitor to instruct a particular barrister).  About a third of the way down on that page, he catalogues the money to be made in the child care merry-go-round, stating that adoption fees can be £18,000 per child, while specialist children's homes can charge £7,000 per week per child.

Also see here: