Investigation of possible abuse.Petition.

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OK.I've got four signatures so far.I voted,but I'm sure my mum didn't-mind you,she's not on the internet.Only a few tens of thousands to go! Please spread the word.... http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/62212
Oh dear.180 views,but only two of you have signed.
For reference-no pressure-were there particular reasons? The general idea? My phraseology?

Obviously,I'm not very good at organising this sort of thing...
"It's to be feared that pubescent and pre-pubescent children were being targeted by the department for abuse. "
Well, we all have fears of all kinds, but this petition needs to provide some links to substantial evidence. Where's the beef? What are the case-studies? And anyway, how does the onset or otherwise of puberty affect the case?
Thanks for the reply scally.
Stoke council aren't brilliant at releasing information; the form for lodging a complaint mentions a two-stage complaints system.I was told last week that this doesn't apply to social services,who only have a one-stage system-one sends in a complaint,a manager in the department then decides if the complaint has merit.Or not.That's it.
The head of the complaints department writes that "it really should be pointed out on the complaints form; the system changed in 2005".
As for my fears about sexual abuse,I'd make a few points:
In many alleged cases of abuse,there is little objective evidence.Whether it's rape or child-abuse,it often comes down to one person's word against another.I'm one of those who can get very concerned at calls for higher-hopefully not 100%) conviction rates given that it can generally be impossible to know the truth.
Even Ofsted had to use indirect methods to declare Stoke's Children's Services unfit for purpose in 2006.They looked at our 'social neighbours' towns of similar social mix as ourselves,and compared the numbers of Care Orders per thousand head of population.Such was the difference,that they decided that "such orders are used as a first,rather than a last resort" and brought in a private company to run the department.(The council removed Serco prematurely on cost grounds a few years later).
That was a big move for Ofsted,and I'd agree that it seems like poor justice.Dylan sings about how he married a rich widow and
When she died,it came to me.
I can't help it if I'm lucky...
At no time did Ofsted declare the Care Orders invalid.Each and every one was passed by judges sitting in Hanley.In each and every case,the judge was persuaded that the child was "at risk of significant harm" if he or she was not put in a council institution.The judge,of course was legally obliged to follow the expert advice of social workers as to the need for the Order...
What was the motive for all this? It may have been financial.Social services are the only department allowed to break their budget by millions of pounds each year.It may have been pure malice.Absolute power breeds absolute corruption.Or it may have been sexual.I've been told by a care worker and a councillor that grooming gangs are at work in Stoke but that the Child Protection agency is plain scared of taking action.With some of the recent celebrity cases,I heard people say that it "wasn't as though the girl was 9; she was 14".Legally,there's no difference between the two ages.
No effort has ever been made to contact the families who had children removed prior to Ofsted intervening.No-one knows what they experienced.I certainly fear that there was a sexual element to the policy.I especially am concerned at the vulnerability of handicapped kids who can't talk.Both the council officer and the councillor with special responsibility for social-services in 2006 had never had to explain their failure.I believe that all the main political parties were in a coalition in Stoke at the time that the department was found unfit for purpose,so they'd all want to avoid an investigation.Is this the only time that Social services have been put into Special Measures,and there's been no enquiry?
There are several aspects to a good petition: it needs to be accurate, reasonable, based on facts and non libellous, be very well promoted in the local community to attract popular support, it needs to name the problem and the means of redress:
It's to be feared that pubescent and pre-pubescent children were being targeted by the department for abuse.
Some disabled children were still in institutions post-18,the council working through the Court of Protection to try to retain them in units for life.
I wouldn't sign this without some links to evidence, some means of checking whether its accurate or just a private vendetta. Sadly, some petitions fail at the first hurdle for these reasons, that's not to say there isnt a major issue, just that you need some grassroots support and organisation to make it stick.
Good points,Scully.
Sadly,I'm one of the last persons to organise anything efficiently.
One of the points I was trying to make was that it's very difficult for anyone going through the Family Courts,as I did,to secure help.Given that the hearings are secret,one may not advertise or form support groups,nor may the local press-newspapers and radio-cover anything.In these circumstances,it isn't too clear how it would be possible to have the issue "well promoted in the local community".
Ofsted themselves were able to view no court records,had neither the right nor the resources to say "this removal was wrong" or "that child should not have been taken".They had to rely on circumstantial evidence based on the tremendous number of families broken by social services here,compared to every other city.They felt strongly enough about this to issue a warning to Stoke in 2005,and to put Children's Services into Special Measures in 2006.
We know that x percent of children shouldn't have been institutionalised,but no attempt's been made to identify them and ensured that they've been freed-that's official.
I've raised the issue,in general terms,in the local press,but forming any sort of support group is hellishly difficult.At one stage,I was instructed by the judge that I could not contact either my MP or my councillor for help,though a whispered intervention by the Clerk of the Court caused him to rescind these orders.
I know it can be difficult for those who have not been targeted to imagine what it's like.On the Guardian website,someone responded "you seem obsessed by this".My answer is that if someone's lost a loved one to a hit-and-run driver,one tends to be rather focused on aspects of road safety; I think it's human nature.
I think I'm right in saying that we're the only country in the world where children can be removed,adults taken for life via Deprivation of Liberty Orders,with no-one outside the process allowed to know what's going on?
Nationally,things seem to be getting worse,rather than better,in terms of locking kids up and throwing away the key. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014 ... t-of-crime
I urge everyone to read today's report on the 1400 victims of child sexual abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013,and the extent to which social services in the city were aware of what was going on. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014 ... sed-report
I believe that there is a need to investigate Children's Services in each of the cities in this part of the world.
At last,the local paper is getting hold of some of the information: http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/danger-R ... story.html

You'll note that the police and the council are urging taxi drivers and people running late-night takaways to be on the lookout for isolated,desperate girls.
I'd like to thank the four who signed the petition-out of thousands of views!
I'm sorry to say that we're unlikely to have an investigation,unless a national policy is rolled out.Hopefully,as much police attention will be given to councils as has been given to the Catholic church and disc-jockies.