Monday, April 05, 2010

Grandparents Apart UK : Charter for Grandchildren should be accepted throughout UK

The following comes from Grandparents Apart UK, showing the need for a UK wide implementation on the Charter for Grandchildren, after a young girl endured a four year nightmare of abuse.

A Happy Easter for Emma

There Is an Easter Bunny after all.

The 4 year nightmare of abuse endured by a little girl called Emma is now over. Four years of hell because social services would not listen to her grandparents. The Charter for Grandchildren should be accepted UK wide to avoid injustices like these. Charges have now been brought against her abusers at last putting an end to 4 years of horror the social services said was not happening. Emma has been disturbed by her experience and will need specialist help.

The story.

A couple split up in 2005 when Emma was 20 months. The mother did not want her unless the father stayed too. The grandparents stepped in and took Emma in and cared for her for 9 days before the police came and told them she had to be returned to the mother even although the social services had been told continually about the abuse which had been reported to them by the grandparents but they ignored them and did nothing.

During this time the grandparents had access and kept reporting to the father that Emma had bruises and once they had to take her to the local A&E for blood droplets coming out of her ear where she had been slapped hard. While they were there they were told there was signs of an old injury to her other ear that had never been attended to and still the social services did nothing saying it was because Emma didn’t speak clearly and that it was difficulty to determine just how she came to get these bruises.

The mother always maintained that she got them whilst playing with her siblings.

Even with the hospital contacting the Child Protection Units of the police and Social Services and the subsequent videoed interview of Emma the social services still refused to accept these injuries were due to Emma being physically abused at her home.

This family has been the subject of social service scrutiny since 2002 and even although Emma was placed in the fathers care four times in one year and is now the subject of Child Protection Conferences the social services have never once acknowledged the possibility that the mother or stepfather could have inflicted these injuries.

Emma attended the school with a large bruise on her forehead and informed her teacher found out she had been hit by her step father. The Child Protection agencies were informed by the school and two days later Emma was placed again into the care of her father. Emma’s brother was also assaulted so hard by the stepfather he was placed in the care.

The couple have problems which are critical and in need of attention they cannot control their tempers and have been advised to attend anger management sessions. Both have dependency on alcohol. The social services knew of the domestic violence in this house but yet refused to acknowledge it.

There is a lot more to this story but it is cloaked under the veil of confidentiality. The question needs answering why when the Social Services knew of the physical and emotional abuse these children were suffering did they not take action sooner to protect them.

Social Services failed to believe the father was the birth father preferring to believe the step father who said he had a DNA test which proved he was Emma’s birth father, they did not engage with the real father until late 2007 The Social Services preferred to believe the step father who had changed Emma’s name claiming he was the father

This case is well documented by the amount of correspondence written to the Social Services workers and their superiors highlighting the concerns of the father and grandparents regarding the child but these were mostly ignored.

Emma was hit by the step father. The grandparents are not being told the full story as they are still being cast aside. The Social Services are not saying anything, but the story we are getting from Emma was she was in her bed in the middle of the night and the step father hit her without reason.

The next morning emma told the school teacher of the assault, as she has been told to and the Social Services were then involved, however they did not contact the family and us until today and that was after interviewing Emma by video and subjecting her to another medical which they complained to us was stressing to Emma when we complained about her abuse six months ago.

The Social Services never listened to the child or the grandparents and suggested she only made the stories up. We are extremely lucky that she has only a bruised face and nothing more serious but the abuse she has suffered is beyond believe.

Thank god Emma is safe now and doing remarkably better at school.

Jimmy Deuchars, Grandparents Apart UK

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