A dying woman whose children are in foster care has been told that her contact with them will be cut to 90 minutes a fortnight because of her failing health.Doesn’t that give you a warm feeling inside? It does me.
Of rage, mind you…
Her son and daughter were taken into care because of an allegation — dismissed after an investigation — that a friend had sexually abused one of them.So why are they still in care?
Mrs Brown’s large and supportive family have made numerous attempts to bring the children back into their care.Oh, where to start..?
Her father, George, 72, a former BBC executive, was judged too old to look after the children, although he has regularly taken them on holidays. Anne offered to buy a bigger house to accommodate them, but was told that her job as a journalist would make it impossible for her to parent them.
Mrs Brown’s son Sam, who is 23, was assessed as not having a sufficiently stable relationship with his girlfriend.
It seems that having taken the children, they are now pulling excuses out of their collective arse in order to hang onto them. Too old at 72? Journalism not an ‘approved’ job?
And not having a ‘sufficiently stable’ relationship? Are you kidding me? Since when have the SS worried about that?
Pretty nearly all their recent screw-ups have involved the kind of ‘families’ where an attempt to chart the relationships would look like a drunken spider had gotten into someone’s Etch-A-Sketch…
Then in March 2006 Mrs Brown arrived at the children’s school to find that they had been taken into care. Louise had told her teacher that a friend of her mother had abused her.Quite. They’ll be turned out onto the street, along with all the other young people irrevocably damaged by being condemned to the ‘care’ of the State.
Mrs Brown recalled packing her children’s clothes as they waited outside in the social worker’s car. They left that afternoon.
After a police investigation and medical examination, the allegation was dismissed.
Louise retracted her statement to the family. But social services became concerned about Mrs Brown’s ability to protect her children.
“The social workers say they have got new families. But we are their family,” Anne said. “When they’re 16 social services won’t want to know them.”
Which, as always, isn’t exactly bucking the trend in this case:
On the brink of adolescence, the children are not likely candidates for adoption and the family says their behaviour has deteriorated significantly. Both hover on the edge of exclusion from school. Their family concedes that they are now difficult to handle together.Which is not to say that such deterioration is inevitable. But it’d take a very, very strong character to survive such upheaval and uncertainty.
Their grandfather believes that this is because of the disruptions: “They have been knocked off a normal way of life with their mother and among family and they have been isolated and pitched into an alien atmosphere.”
In 2007 a judge emphasised the importance of retaining the children’s strong family bonds. Anne believes that depriving a dying woman of her children goes against this direction. As her relatives spoke, Mrs Brown faintly echoed their feelings. “Angry,” she muttered. “Angry and sad.”There’s nothing more to add, really, is there?