Families’ Testimonials

This page houses the experiences of children and their families who have engaged with children’s social care, and the family courts in England and Wales.

While most of the testimonials we receive feature bad experiences — which are vital for understanding how the system affects children and families — we welcome testimonials which include good experiences too.

We would like to thank all those children and families who have courageously shared their experiences with us, so that others can learn about the system and how it impacts families in Britain.

If you’d like to add your testimonial, you can share it with us using our contact form. Please help us by keeping testimonials to a maximum of 500 words, so that we can include as many experiences as possible on the site, and place the word ‘FAMILY TESTIMONIAL’ at the top of the message. Thank you so much.

Overwhelmed by all the testimonies below? Not to worry, you can search using keywords like “adoption” and “court” to find specific experiences. Just press control/ command and F together to bring up a search bar, enter your search word and then click on the arrows next to the box.

“My daughter tried to kill herself to get away from ongoing abuse.

The Independent Children Lawyer refused to speak to the children. This has been going on for over 7 years in the courts.

My daughter’s feelings were never recorded, and our child protection meeting took a grand total of ten minutes.

She was ignored by the judge completely, despite violent incidents carried out by her father which had all been formally documented.”

“My daughter’s baby was stolen and put up for adoption 6 days after she was born whilst my daughter was still in hospital after giving birth.

After abusing my daughter and driving her into a mental hospital, Social Services then fabricated evidence to enable them to forcibly adopt her little girl.”

“The closed family court system and local authorities together have a cast iron system for removing babies from their birth mothers and promoting the ‘for profit’ business model of adoption agencies.

I fell into the trap of going to CAHMS [Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services] for help when my daughter had teenage behavioural problems, and they were able to use notes taken at the time 10 years later in a Family Court.”

“[Social services] rip [children] from fathers, too, don’t forget.

I know it’s easy to concentrate on the mother, particularly with a new-born, but a father deprived of his children is often a man lost and traumatised.”

“My children haven’t been put first once.

My 7 year old threatened to kill himself last month because they won’t let him come home.

My 5 year old asks to come home at every contact. They’ve cut my contact, so I only see my boys 2 hours a week and my little girl 3 hours a week. I’m devastated.

I’m a domestic abuse survivor. I’ve done all the courses off my own back but my social worker tells lies and bullies me. Cafcass still hasn’t been out to see my kids 8 months on. My children ask to come home at every contact.”

“I don’t like the way social services are supposed to rebuild families, rebuild women, but all they are doing is tearing us apart.

I’ve got a daughter that I haven’t seen in nearly 3 months and she’s having trouble at school, in the middle of court proceedings to discharge my order so she can come home with me.

Although I got a positive parenting report social services are not backing me and they are not letting my daughter come home, so we have to take it to the judge in the Family Court. He’s actually very fair and I would love him to give me my kids back.”

“I don’t dare to seek help, as SS [social services] may use my mild depression and anxiety caused by coercive control as a reason to take my child and give him to my abuser.”

“I don’t understand how so much money can be spent on the foster system when the money could be better spent on actually helping families to be able to keep their own children.”

“No one ascertained my daughter’s views. She was nine at the time.

We had racked up eight years of really good contact logs and the social services reports said my daughter very much wanted to remain in contact with me.

All of that was ignored because the other parent had come off better in court.”

“The whole system has failed many families like mine. No support, no respite, no young carers support, no school support, no social work support, police don’t understand the issues we face and sometimes leave kids vulnerable in society…

I haven’t seen my 4 yr old grand daughter in 3 yrs. All due to the lack of support. Services are not being Educated in what FASD is (Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders), brain damage caused by alcohol consumption while in in the womb, and it’s preventable.”

“The social workers just ignored the requirement to compile the Life Story Book. It was never done after over 6 years.

By then the damage was done. He didn’t remember me. I felt like he had been conditioned to believe whatever he had been told.”

“It would be cheaper and more cost effective to the taxpayer to assist the birth family at home, far cheaper and far more effective, and closed adoption reserved for those in real need e.g. orphaned children or children in highly abusive situations.”

“Courts need to punish local authorities and Cafcass when it can be proved they have “misrepresented” the truth to fit with their narrative.”

“How do you give abusive fathers exactly what they want in court? Now my daughter has been manipulated into living with him after he was given so much time with her.

He won’t even let me see her for Mother’s Day. He was accused of coercion, financial abuse, physical and emotional abuse, including towards his two step children.

There were even death threats. My children have been totally let down by the system!”

“My child was removed and put with the person who abused us both. I was dragged through court, there were complaints about my mental health and then an adoption order. I’m still in this process and will fight until the end but I know I won’t win against the system and a rich adoptive family lined up. Where’s the justice in that?”

“Kinship care, should be respected and supported.
Separating families is soul destroying and has indelible life markers that carries into adulthood.”

“Why are social services ripping families apart? Say they wanna work with you but actually don’t go with nothing you have to say, it’s their way or nothing. They should not have meetings without parents.”

“Social workers need to have their work performance reviewed every month by an outside independent body. They also need better and constant training.”

“My poor grandson got removed from me on safeguarding concerns and poor parenting and neglect which is utter lies.

The parents don’t stand a chance we are all put in the same category of child abuser and that is wrong.”

“There is not enough support for children escaping domestic abuse. I myself have support from domestic abuse organisations, from the freedom programme, from support groups.

I am lucky that we have support from Early Help (although my son is not able to engage with them due to trauma), but other than that my children just have me.

I am not qualified in trauma, I am struggling to deal with my own trauma. I am not even able to talk to my children about what they have been through as they will be accused of being coached and their voices will not be listened to through the court process – which is extremely lengthy.

By the time I am allowed to seek proper help and support for my children they will have been struggling to deal with their trauma for many months with no way of really understanding what happened to them – which means they blame themselves, or think much of the abuse was ‘normal’ or that they deserved it.”

“Cafcass are currently ruining my son’s life, my life and my family’s life. I have thrown evidence at them, character references, proof my ex is a liar and out to ruin my life and it’s all brushed aside.

I don’t know how these people sleep at night. They are the worst people I’ve ever come across for not looking into facts and evidence before ruining a child’s life and it is really quite concerning.”

“The judge was a bully. He was rude, dismissive and not interested. He said he had 3 hours, it was meant to be a full day’s hearing.

I felt humiliated, bullied and I agreed to the order as I didn’t feel I had any other choice. It has left me feeling suicidal.

The worst thing is not knowing where to turn. I feel so let down. All the barrister could say is ‘the judge is well known for his manner.'”

“Social Services are heartless liars, corrupt, they destroy our families. It upsets me and breaks my heart.

They would rather use forced adoption and make money out of it. From a loving, heartbroken dad.”

“The costs of taking children from loving parents who might simply need help of some kind in difficult situations by making false allegations of harm of some kind, in the future in some cases, and all that they incur must be astronomical.

These include the care proceedings themselves, CAFCASS/Guardians, social workers, other Social Services/local authority staff, care workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, any other ‘professionals’, stays in children’s homes/foster care, all in all a hell of a lot of money, courtesy of the tax payer, yet parents are denied legal aid. Then these same local authorities bleat a shortage of funds for cutting essential services to the vulnerable.

My case was a good 20 years ago, it will have been happening before then and it’s still happening now. Millions of pounds will have been spent on these situations over many years by God knows how many local authorities yet it would no doubt have been much cheaper to give parents appropriate help in the first place rather than remove their children unnecessarily and on trumped up charges. It must be a very lucrative business for some otherwise why has it been allowed to continue for so long. It certainly isn’t in the best interests of the children.”

“Our daughter raised concerns over her ex abusive husband having contact with her child.

Caffcass turned it all round, lied and have left our daughter in fear to go back court to bring issues up because they contact social services.

It’s heartbreaking as her abuser has gained it all and our grandchild is in a worse position. It’s so hard to watch.”

“The whole concept of adoption is built on myths. There are no winners, only losers.

The pain, heartache, loss and personal identification confusion are all the things that are never mentioned as they seem too much of a taboo subject.

The lies perpetrated by those initiating the initial adoption and then again those same lies with the addition of lies to protect adopters and adoptees being carried through to the child’s adult years are a major cause for the high rate of forced adoptions and adoption breakdowns.”

“I just want our children back home. I want my voice heard. We are not the liars they make us out to be. We have no justice for our children.

I was being truthful in court about the lies of social workers and I had the evidence to prove it, but the judge refused to see it, ignored everything I said and lost the children to care and adoption. He would not change his mind, he believed only Cafcass who I never ever met ,also social services .

I love these children so much, I want the truth out to get them back home.”

“I had a judge in the family court who based on a social worker assessment put my kids in short term foster care. I was then diagnosed with mental health problems, but the judge never made the social worker help find the appropriate therapy. My kids went in to long term foster care.

I fought through, found therapy, completed it and reapplied to court for my children to be returned.

But because the social worker wrote a statement saying she had heard I had a relapse with no evidence, and persuaded a family member to make up a lie, which was proven to not be true, the judge refused to discharge the care order.

It’s like professionals team up against parents.”

“I have recently had to represent myself in court. The judge was sarcastic when I asked if the guardian was going to make sure my son got my letters, in a really sneering voice and forced me to accept sending emails to my son through his dad who is a coercive and at times violent man, when I had given valid alternative suggestions.

I tried to explain that it was upsetting because of prior abuse and he told me I was talking nonsense.

This judge had previously completely dismissed all the medical evidence from the NHS that my teenage son has Asperger’s syndrome.

I felt humiliated and distraught and if it wasn’t for my local refuge supporting me I don’t know how I would have coped. I’m terrified of going into court again it’s giving me panic attacks.

“I requested weekly Skype contact to be a reassuring presence for my children through [the pandemic] in the absence of physical face to face contact.

It was dismissed by court professionals and the judge said she could not see the benefit to the children.

I find this astounding and beyond frustrating. I am in the process of writing to my MP regarding this.

I am being offered 30 minutes of Skype monthly which I feel is insufficient during this time when children need to know their parents are there for them.”

“Social services lied in my family’s reports and we had no chance of getting the facts together.

Now I have the facts, I’ve still no chance of winning in court because of the laws.

Nobody cares about the facts in family courts, the law always wins, how can social workers get away with lies in this so called law?

It’s not fair on innocent families, especially the children who are robbed of their biological families.

It’s a life sentence losing my grandchildren and I don’t know how I’m going to live without them.”

“[Social services] bullied me relentlessly, stole my children and I now have PTSD symptoms as a result.

They go too far, have no humanity and make accusations when parents are put under immense pressure stuck in a room being monitored for two years.

It is like being mentally abused, it’s controlling and upsetting and highly stressful.

They put my kids with a mentally abusive man and the social worker was so bad she gloated and lied and was highly personal about everything to do with me.

They also asked for a lot of changes to improve situations but when I found work they abused me for this. I felt like I couldn’t win no matter what I did.”

“I have been bullied by a lot of judges in family court. I’m so upset and I’ve cried most of the day.

The court has failed me and is making my child see his father against his wishes.

I’m disgusted by the way I have been treated and they dismissed all my evidence that my ex is an abusive bully and let him get away with a lot of bad behaviour against me.”

“I have had a really bad time. I have just lost my first born son to adoption because of my ex boyfriend saying that I was on drugs and a heavy drinker which was not true.

I am a type two diabetic on insulin and was a single parent looking after and providing for my son.

I am heart broken because I have no idea were my son is.”

“Whilst our case was with Cafcass they were very good and could see through my ex’s grooming strategies, abuse and lies etc.

However, once it went to the LA SS [local authority social services] it was an unmitigated disaster which led to us having 6 complaints upheld against them.”

“Male entitlement needs to go away in order for these judges to stop [making errors] over and over [which impact] women and children.

In countries where patriarchy is the norm, women have no rights and are forced to stay in abusive marriages or escape just to keep custody of their children.

When they do manage to escape the abuse, mothers and children are punished. And it often ends in death.”

“Family Court has given my baby girl who is 6 to a man who raped me to live in [an area] where I cannot fight the case.

I am meant to see my child every 3 weeks and speak to her every week, but none of this has happened since July.

I don’t know what to do or where to turn.”

“[Social services] take our children and don’t want to know us, they don’t care about us nor the children.

They advertise our kids like pedigree puppies without our consent yet if we mention anything about our kids on social media, we are in big trouble, we are gagged.

They give our kids and lie about their needs just to get them out of the system.

No wonder they are returned back to the system, bouncing around to different strangers, and we as parents don’t get told, we have to just move on like they never existed.

This is not for the best of the children, it’s beyond abuse, it’s damaging to these children, life long damage.

They are more traumatised from the second they are taken from their biological families, as far as I’m concerned it’s inhumane and a disgrace.”

“The whole process has affected my whole family. It’s like a life sentence when they take our children.

I feel I’m fighting a losing battle, I’m drained, can’t face the world no more, not without my grandchildren.

They took them for possible future harm that would happen anywhere, what makes them so sure it won’t happen [in the care of] strangers?

Nobody can love my grandchildren like their biological family do.

Social services, judges, everyone involved are abusing our children and they have caused them lifelong harm ripping them away from us.”

“I’m not allowed contact with my grandson as the local authorities tried to put him up for adoption but that did not happen.

I have not seen him since last February but I’m getting legal advice as I want to see him. He was taken away from me on a stupid accusation of poor parenting and neglect and not safeguarding him which is a load of rubbish but the magistrates took the local authority’s word and not mine.

These people should stop traumatising children, it’s not right, especially when they are taking them from loving homes.”

“My daughter’s adoption agency went bust shortly after they achieved a placement order and stopped my contact. This has caused me nothing but issues in relation to contact and also figuring out what actually went on. I still have not received my final contact photos.”

“I have post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosed before the family court, but it has worsened. My children who are 9 and 10 live with me but they separated my youngest child who is 5 to go and live with the man who raped me.

We haven’t seen her for nearly a year. This is the justice system.”

“My friend’s eight-year-old daughter is subject to a care order but is living with her estranged husband. My friend used to have a face to face supervised contact at a contact centre every two weeks for three hours. This has now been changed to video contact for half an hour fortnightly and email contact every other week due to coronavirus.

My friend is in lockdown due to her medical vulnerabilities, she has no access to a smartphone and her computer is not good enough to enable video contact.

She has asked for help with this but is being ignored.

children’s services say that my friend can only email them once a fortnight and refuse to reply to any more than that one email. She had to email and call constantly just to get feedback on how her daughter is, she has not seen her since early March.

My friend has always felt marginalised by Children’s Services, the IRO [Independent Reviewing Officer] failed to organise a meeting with her for the last LAC [Looked After Child] review.

Children’s Services are telling her that she gets “feedback on her daughter’s welfare” at LAC reviews. They then tell her the next LAC review is more than nine months after the last one to which she was not invited.

I know this should be six months maximum!

How on earth do they expect a mother to wait that long to obtain information about her daughter’s welfare at such a crucial time? It always has felt as if they want to stifle my friend’s opinions, it feels even more so now.”

“No matter how much you bend over backwards for [social services] it’s never enough.

Doing the parenting courses is nothing more than a smokescreen to keep you quiet and thinking you are making positive progress towards having your kids returned but it’s all a scam.

They plan whole thing from the start. Judges are well aware of the LA plans from day one yet they let parents go through months of proceedings thinking that they have a chance to put their case via their legal team. You are set up to lose from day one.”

“I am a birth mother who was subject to an enforced adoption of my twin boys when they were 4 years old. The adoption appeared fairly successful when they were younger, but started to show cracks were they were teenagers and completely fell apart when they attempted to contact me at 18.

Today they both have no contact with their adoptive parents and they have reconnected with me and their other siblings.

My one son has some psychiatric problem which emerged when he was a teenager and was completely ignored by his adoptive parents even though they knew about my own psychiatric problems.

They said a lot of bad things about me and their older sister who was in foster care. Both my sons felt they were treated differently to the adoptive parents’ own children.

The adoptive father would take his anger out on them. The adoptive parents absolutely freaked when my one son contacted me and came to visit me.

I would deem the adoption was a failure and it might have been better if social services had put more support into keeping us all together.

I knew where they were living but was forbidden to go anywhere near their home. That was incredibly hard. I harbour enormous anger towards social services, even though 23 years have passed.

It also affected me terribly. I continued to mourn the loss of my children, had flashbacks whenever I saw twins and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress syndrome.

I left England and returned back to [another country] to enable me to keep my last child. For years, just the thought of visiting the UK was extremely hard because it was bound up with all the bad memories.”

“My boys have been forcibly removed. All I needed was a bit of help and support but social services used everything against me and turned it around to make out I couldn’t cope.

I done all the courses they asked me to do and more. I paid over £3,000 of my own money to pay for therapy and after just 3 hours with me the psychologist diagnosed me with a borderline personality disorder and said I wouldn’t be able to cope with being a mum.

The social services stole my children and I have no say in it. I feel so lost without them. Everyday a part of me is missing.

My boys aren’t happy where they are, they want their mum but adoption is final and I have no rights.”

“Forced Adoptions need Abolishing for good.”

“How can us parents live knowing our kids may be suffering out there?

once they’re taken you never hear how they are or if they’re happy.

It’s scary and it’s on your mind every day hoping they’re ok.

It’s worse than death. At least you know when a loved one dies they’re not suffering no more and you know where they are, no matter how much it hurts, you can accept this more and learn to live with it.

But my grandchildren are somewhere out there and confused.

They loved us, we are their real family and they were ripped away from us.

This is not in the children’s best interest, this is inhumane, it’s emotional harm, they will grow up wanting to find us and that is going to cause them mental health issues.

I’m trying to fight all the way to get these kids back.

I wont give up, ever.”

“Me and my husband felt like criminals on the stand, felt it was all one sided, we were denied hard copies and never knew what information local authorities handed into court.

We went in to challenge our failed assessment that was full of lies yet none of this was mentioned by the courts.

I stood up on the stand feeling like a criminal for having a daughter with mental health issues a decade ago, all because social services failed to help me with her.

The judge believed everything the local authorities said but we were the liars.

Mine and my husband’s relationship will probably end because of these proceedings.

The judge settled for possible future harm because I needed help with my daughter’s mental health 12 years ago.

As a result local authorities won a placement order and full care order for my grandchildren.”

“[Social services should] listen to families asking for help, at an early stage.

Do not judge families by other families’ standards. And take your head out of your text book and breathe some humanity [into your work].

Equally important is talking to the children not the advocate, not the guardians, not the social workers.”

“I was bullied through the courts and I did come though the other end but I’ll never be the happy person I was.

The police, the social worker and even the court prolonged the suffering, when all I wanted was to escape my ex’s clutches.

Instead I felt like I was being attacked from every angle and clobbered by the system.

I came through and survived in the end, but it shouldn’t have had to be that soul destroying.”

“The local authority took my grandchildren from my daughter who has mental health issues.

They won’t give them to me because of her past history of mental health.

They are up for adoption and it’s not right.

We get no support, just our children removed forever.”

“Whenever I read the research into how foster children view their world and what they are feeling, I become more convinced that foster care is not the answer.

These children taken from their families live their lives on relationship shifting sands. It’s not surprising, as social workers isolate the children by stopping contact with their birth families once the child is in care. No doubt to preserve foster relationships, (that are transient) but that doesn’t help the child. It has to be said the Swedish keep the birth family involved with no discernible disruption to the foster family.

It’s clear these children miss their families and that creates a void. That void is filled with transient relationships when permanency is what they need. It goes beyond relationships and that instability seeps into other aspects of their lives. No wonder a large proportion of care leavers have mental health issues.”

“I chaired the government’s review panel for foster and adoptive carers who were refused approval.

The practice I witnessed by many authorities was shocking.”

“My family have had such negative experience with social services, like false allegations leading to children being separated from their siblings.

I have notes of dates times and allegations, of which we have made appointments with their manager, but both times have been cancelled by them, leading to being allocated a different social worker.

Yes, children should have rights in my opinion, so many children separated for the wrong reasons, I totally agree if children are in danger remove them, but not if mental health is the issue and taken through “neglect” (a messy house).”

“The complaints procedure is futile…the entire Child Protection system has been cleverly built not to be broken.

There is no justice for wronged parents. Social Services and the Family Court are a law unto themselves and can do as they like without accountability.

The utter tragedy is the poor children that suffer at the hands of Social Services and the lifetime damage done to them.

MPs are reluctant to get involved in cases…the Government is fully aware of what’s happening…sadly nobody cares.”

“Why prop up a failing system with more funding? Surely the government can do better, but they do tend to think up projects that focus on promoting the Care System, the growing foster care industry and all the many spin offs.

Whilst government money is being given to these projects it must be remembered that money is being generated too and those profits are high. Money returning to the government in taxes alone would fill quite a few piggy banks.

Those that invest in these fostering companies pay investing individuals handsomely. I’ve heard lots of social workers, judges & MPs have already vested interests in that direction too. A clear conflict of interest.”

“The Special Guardian has ignored the court ordered child contact and the court refuses to do anything about it.

The government need to realise the the problem is inherently dangerous.

Until that is looked at in detail it will continue in the same manner. What needs to happen is not more money but a lot less.

Where foster carers are doing the job because they wish to help, not for extra income.”

“We had foster carers for my grandson who has a very complex heart condition.

He spent a lot of time in [edited]…my daughter was so badly bullied by these two women…one in particular that they nearly drove my daughter to take her life. This thank god was noted by nursing staff who reported this bullying…

These women are now advertising Fostering in [edited]. How are they still employed?”

“The President of the Family Division gives speeches on the poor state of Family law sometimes and gives a tiny covert criticism but, nothing ever comes out of it.”

“I was told that the court goes with Cafcass 98% of the time even if they are wrong.”

“My daughter who has grown up to become an outstanding young woman of such intelligence, compassion and wit, far far exceeded even my wildest hopes and not one prediction, not one claim any social worker laid against me in the 16 years of hell they put us through, ever came to even the remotest of fruition. She is of the mind that maybe she has a claim against [edited] Council for the horrible things they did to her.”

“As a former foster carer as well as a former social worker I find the call [to ban child contact with birth parents] horrific as well as seemingly violating the ethos of the 1989 Children Act.

As foster carers we successfully returned home or placed in independent accommodation numerous children.

As a social worker I returned home nearly as many children as I did remove from home.

When as a social worker I did remove a child using a court order I always felt like a failure, that I had not been able to access the resources that the family needed to maintain their child at home.”

“Child removal is not the last resort, it’s the easy option. I was very lucky to win my case but it’s the same story time and time again, in my opinion.

Parents ask for help and yet rather than doing this they knock you down further and eventually take your kids. The link between asking for help and remove is not OK.

The worst part is the lies. When I was in proceedings, all data was withheld from me. I suspected my son had been abused due to the injuries on his body. We were told otherwise. I had to find out in SARs my son had been restrained and secluded (he was 7 at the time).

My son also threatened to kill himself and the response from the school who restrained him was “he doesn’t mean it”. He may not have, but it was clearly his way of expressing how sad he was. When we raised concerns, they threatened to reduce our contact.

My other son watched his brother return home at a contact session and spent months coming to contact with a bag of his Lego, a family photo and his teddies. I’ll never get over that.

My son developed a tic in care. He will now not be left alone and is visibly distressed in rooms with the door shut.

Since being home, his new social worker (who actually appears to have a heart) says, “I have no concerns with your parenting”. But this was the reason they took my kids.

I can’t get over the anger I feel towards these people.”

“Our 2 disabled adopted children we removed from our care last September. We were met with suspicion and blame. No transparency, and certainly no rehabilitation.

Our children have been traumatised more by the actions and non actions of social care. My children have been badly let down by social services.

We’ve endured two years in legal proceedings and our children are just eight and nine. The parent blaming and shocking failings of social services is astounding and if I hadn’t lived through it all I wouldn’t believe it.

None of the social workers we have had have any understanding of our children’s difficulties, presentations and needs.”

“I had 2 boys and then my 3rd baby died when I was in an abusive relationship.

I was traumatised and unable to cope. They took the youngest of my 2 boys because I “didn’t seem to have the same bond with him.”

I needed help, I needed therapy I was lost and numb and scared and instead of helping they took my boy.

So while I was in trauma from the death of my son they caused a new trauma and took another boy from me and left his big brother behind which is a massive trauma for him.

The adoptive family never kept up with letterbox so for 16 years I lived with the pain of not knowing where he was.

A weird fluke of events had us cross paths when he was 19. He had been beaten and abused by the family that was “better” for him. They had put him out on the street.

He slept behind a bin and ate tins of dog food to survive. They caused us all trauma that we now battle to heal from as a family. Now whole again as we were meant to be.

They don’t care, they don’t listen, they take what they want so that they can tick a box somewhere. They play God with people’s lives and ruin entire families.”

“At 14 years old I was a child of the system myself, extremely vulnerable and suffered from learning difficulties.

Whilst under the care of the local authority and living in a children’s home I fell in with a bad crowd and groomed and abused by a network of older men in the area and sold for sex. The local authority were aware this was happening but refused to move me from the locality despite me begging them to do so.

In the midst of this situation I fell pregnant.

I tried to move back home with my mother as this was where I felt safer, yet the LA repeatedly called the police and had me escorted back to the Children’s Home, although I was only on a voluntary section 20 agreement at the time.

The LA seemed to become extremely possessive over me from the minute they realised I was pregnant. They served me with court papers to issue care proceedings on my unborn baby in the middle of labour whilst my legs were up in stirrups. I was also told that if I left hospital with the baby that the police would be called immediately.

Shortly after this I was sent to a parenting assessment unit where the residents were psychologically abused by staff members. This place was run like a military camp and staff would regularly comment on how certain babies were perfect adoption material. This wasn’t a place to provide any kind of support to parents but rather a place to break down their spirits prior to court proceedings.

After this arrangement broke down the court were asked to look at alternative carers for my baby. At this point the LA already had 3 sets of prospective adopters lined up to take my child. Three of the viability reports on family members were compiled after just 1 hour long meetings. During proceedings a psychologists report was done on myself which was proven to be flawed. Then all family members were quickly ruled out and they went full speed ahead to apply for their adoption order which sadly was granted by the judge.

I was a child myself when all of this happened and I know that with the right support I would have been a great mum but unfortunately I just didn’t stand a chance.”

“I am the father of 4 children lost to forced adoptions through [edited] social services. The first child was taken at age 7 and the other three were removed at birth and put straight up for adoption.

Social services initially got involved due to myself and my partner having learning difficulties after we applied for custody of my son from a previous relationship (who was in care at the time).

Whilst we was fighting through the courts for my son social services wrongfully accused me of sexually abusing our 7 year old daughter who we had always had full custody of up until this point with no social services involvement.

This allegation was nothing more than hearsay, I was never charged or convicted and it was never investigated by the police, but it was used as a silver bullet to remove 4 children from a loving capable home. Enough is enough, the law must change to protect innocent families.”

“I called social services on myself due to suffering mental health due to lack of support and suffered mental abuse from my ex partner who had fled the county.

As an experienced child in care I didn’t want to lose my kids too, so I made that call for help as I was struggling financially which lead to me and the kids losing our home. We were placed in temporary accommodation but things got worse. Social services failed to help and lied me. I had a mega breakdown. I was then placed in danger by the council and had to flee the property with my son.

I was unlawfully evicted as well and that made me homeless for 3 months with no support. There were lies regarding assessments and false allegations and reports was made against me to the judge. No one would listen to help me get this case corrected. Solicitors failed to hand in evidence of the false reports made against me. My health got bad from being victimised by social services. I’ve been tying to get justice for my kids as they’ve suffered emotional abuse.”

“Child protection was a horrible experience of a social worker telling untruth after untruth in her evidence. It has left me so shocked that any human being would tell such dreadful lies in order to ensure a little child never goes home to the mummy that loves them so much.

I never harmed my child but was a victim of domestic abuse. My abuser used the threat of involving social services to stop me from leaving him. I didn’t believe that they would take his side so completely.

The social worker treated me as though I was mentally ill because that’s what he told her. Everything he said became ‘evidence’ against me yet the social worker didn’t want to hear anything from me and made no record of anything I said. I was the primary carer but I was totally silenced – how was this is the best interests of my child?”

“My children were removed due to domestic violence and drug misuse. I did everything the court and social services asked of me. I had a positive phycological assessment and clean hair strand tests.

Social services were looking at reunification. When it came to the court date they had changed their mind. Based on a contact worker saying that she thinks I COULD have possibly been with my abusive ex during contact one day.

I assured the court I was not with my ex and provided phone records to show no contact had taken place. The contact worker stated to the judge that she couldn’t be sure if I was with ex as she didn’t see anyone else in my contact.

Because of this my children are being adopted and I’m dying inside. It’s not right at all.”

“My daughter was born at 3.23pm on a Sunday.

I remember the time apart from the fact I’m her mum because my auntie arrived in my delivery room in the hospital at 3.03pm and my daughter was born 20 mins later and we always say that my daughter was waiting for her (great) auntie to arrive first before she was being born.

There is one thing that I will always remember and that is on the day of the last hearing I was all ready to go into the court room leading up until we had to actually go into the court room, and then I just broke down. After the hearing was over, my solicitor came over to me and my auntie and she said, “I’m sorry [edited], she’s gone (for adoption)” and I burst into tears.

My daughter will never get to meet her birth grandad (my dad) as he passed away almost 3 years ago from terminal lung cancer.

There is also one thing that makes me hate (that’s putting it mildly and politely) my daughter’s social worker even more and that is her rubbish timing.

I don’t have a clue what my daughter looks like now.”

“My two children were removed after my son was interviewed by the social worker for a period of 7 hours. This allowed them to meet the threshold for an emergency protection order.

They placed my autistic son 202 miles away from home in a unit. Contact was cut for almost 2 years.

My son has since made contact with family and told us he had to stop contact due to the strong views of his therapist. We were upset by this. How can that be professional?

We have raised many concerns for our daughter for her health, however this falls on deaf ears. We have been excluded from Education and Health Care Plan meetings and looked after children reviews for her and the court refused us a contested hearing.”

“I am survivor of domestic violence.

I just want to say that the system plays a role in making you feel very unsafe because it destroys children and victims of violence by twisting everything around to protect the abusers.

I have never been so scared in my life, or so heart broken. The family court just turned everything against me to take my son. I have been in this battle for many years with a controlling abuser.

I don’t trust anyone in this system. Even my legal aid solicitor was just there to do the paperwork for the pay, nothing else. I had the most horrendous experience. People in the system are vicious and corrupt and tell malicious lies.”

“My daughter was deceitfully removed from my care. She went for a sleepover at a family member’s and never returned. I had no idea. Professionals dismissed all domestic abuse and the harm my child is going to suffer long term.

Wishes and feelings ignored and decisions made without her feelings being heard. Families are being destroyed and lives taken with no accountability. Our children need a voice!”

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