A Family Caught - A first hand account written for @familyprotection
This is the first post I have written for @familyprotection in quite some time. The reasons for this stay of absence are quite simple: It pains me to write about something so close to heart that is still and will always be ongoing. It also feels as though I have manifested this tragedy through my involvement in the @familyprotection community, as it seems a cruel irony to have been writing about so many families torn apart by the Social Services only to have it happen to my own family. I know that can't be true and that it is all just a terrible coincidence, but that doesn't stop the guilt creeping into my mind.
Regardless, I feel compelled to warn others about the corruption within the CPS(Child Protection Services), and being someone who can give firsthand testimony to this means my words should carry more weight.
It was approximately 3-years ago that this all started when my niece (3-years old at the time) casually made comments to her mother which suggested her father was sexually abusing her. Comments such as "Drink my willy" and "Put my dib-dib in your mouth" are just some of what was said. Obviously, this would cause alarm for any parent, to which seeking professional help would be a natural and expected response. It was only about a year after this event we realised that seeking help from these so-called professionals was probably the biggest mistake we ever made...
I won't go through all the details again, you can read that for yourself in my earlier blogs, but for the benefit of those who have never come across my story, I will inform you that the Social Services saw fit to remove my niece from the loving care of her mother and place her under the guardianship of the PATERNAL grandmother. After battling through the family courts for nearly 2-years, my sister won her case and the judge confirmed that the father was the most likely culprit. It may sound odd to you that the Judge would use the term "Most likely", but that is how it goes when there is very little physical evidence. Probability takes over and if there is enough evidence to give probable cause then that is enough for a judge. In our case the only physical evidence was that of a legion found inside the anal canal, which the pediatrician could not give an exact date. Well, in fact, she did put a time frame on the injury and she also said the likely cause was a penis or hard object used with force. But then this pediatrician's evidence was swept aside in favour of a much less experienced pediatrician who managed to change the entire narrative and subsequently point the blame at my sister (This change of narrative didn't come into play until the appeal).
Like I said before, my sister won her battle and we were all set to see them finally reunite my Sister and her wonderful daughter. A following investigation into the father was to be eagerly awaited but for now we would celebrate this victory.
Our celebrations were to be short-lived, so short that my sister only managed to gain one long precious afternoon with her daughter.
It came to our attention that the judge had not explained his reasons in the manner in which he should have and this opened the door for the father to appeal. The father's legal team was very good at what they do, but when daddy is paying the bill you can afford a much higher class of representation. Don't get me wrong, my sister picked a legal team with a fantastic reputation, but when you're on legal aid no matter how good they are you only get so much time and attention. A case like my sisters requires the kind of dedication and thoroughness that only money or love can muster.
It is noteworthy to mention that when my sister won the first hearing the social worker who had done her best to smear my sister's name made the following comment; "I bet you're happy now the case has gone your way?"...Considering that my poor niece has been put through a traumatic episode along with suffering sexual abuse, my sister and I found this comment to be quite cold and callous. As shocking as this statement was, it was to be expected. To the Social Services this has always been about two things; winning, and covering up the many mistakes they made during this case. While they always manage to avoid scrutiny and never had to answer for their failings, they didn't "win", and this to them was a bitter pill to swallow which is why she made this final comment to my sister. No apology. No acceptance of wrong-doing. Just an unprofessional thoughtless comment.
An appeal with only one possible outcome
An appeal was swiftly granted by the appeal court judges who appointed a new judge to hear the case. As it turned out this hearing would be swayed severely in the father's favour. Not only was he and his mother allowed to rehearse for a second performance, adjusting for all the mistakes they made in the first, he was also allowed to change his story, again. And because the judge refused to read the evidence from the previous hearing, he was none-the-wiser about the father's tactics. To make matters even worse the judge placed a time restraint on the evidence presented by both legal teams. The last point was adhered to by my sister's legal team, who shaved down their evidence to only the most important points and left out key details which no doubt swayed the balance during the first hearing. However, the father's legal team simply ignored the judge's instruction and handed in their original case, plus extra to cover the father's new alibi.
My sister was swimming against the tide already but then had to deal with a fresh assault from the Social Services, who were still getting away with false accounting and misrepresentation, all the while failing to carry out the most basic of safeguarding procedures while my niece stayed in the care of her grandmother. During the 2+ years of being in care, the Social Services have not once carried out an unannounced visit, which is shocking when you consider the documented statements showing the grandmother's refusal to accept any possibility that her son could have abused his own daughter. On many occasions, red flags were raised about the possibility of the father having unsupervised access to his daughter but on every occasion, nothing was done. The Social Services placed my niece in this hazardous situation and any problems arising from that would make them responsible. In other words, looking the other way and ignoring the possibility my niece could be in danger was the best policy for the Social Services. Likewise, making sure this appeal was upheld and clearing the father's name was also in the best interests of the Social Services.
Swiftly, things went from bad to worse during the appeal. First came the Police officer (a key witness who had interviewed my niece and gained crucial admissions from her) who mysteriously went awol during the appeal. Unbelievably, nobody could locate this officer and in her place, they sent an officer who had had next to no involvement in the case and was unable to answer any meaningful questions.
The second twist in this crooked appeal came when the judge insisted on using the evidence of the 2nd pediatrician, a lady who had, herself, stated that she did not have any experience in this type of medical examination. On top of that, in the first hearing, she constantly referred to the evidence given by the more experienced pediatrician, instructing the court they should rely on that. What was even more suspicious was how the 2nd pediatrician changed her statement at the last minute to contradict the time frame and possible cause of injury given by the 1st pediatrician. This had a monumental effect on the case and switched the blame 180 degrees from the father to the mother. With this revised evidence, the Social Services went in for the kill and cooked up a bizarre theory, proclaiming that my sister had caused the injury to her daughter through her paranoid and aggressive examination. They stated that the only possible explanation was that the mother had cut open the anal canal with her fingernails while exploring for evidence of abuse. Besides the fact my sister bites her fingernails to a nub and would therefore be unable to inflict such an injury, not to mention no mother in her right mind would carry out such an examination, the probability of this theory being true would also have to explain away the inconvenient testimony of the young child. My niece had stated to her mother and to the police that her father had abused her and this would have to be dealt with if the accusations against my sister were to be upheld. Enter, the granny and her fabricated account of how my niece had accused the maternal grandad, myself, and my sister's friend's partner. These obscure accusations came during the first trial while my niece was in the care of her gran and they were rightfully investigated and ignored due to lack of evidence. To me, this was the calculated and callous actions of a mother trying to protect her son and deflect the blame onto others. I knew these claims would go nowhere but I never imagined they would later be used to label my niece as a liar and an attention seeker. Sadly, that is exactly what the Social Services and the father's legal team did.
My sister never had a chance. She wasn't just fighting against the father and his highly paid legal team, she was also fighting against the CPS. At every opportunity they made my sister look like the villain, a paranoid mother hell-bent on preventing the father from having a relationship with his daughter (Which no evidence was ever presented to uphold this claim). At the same time they championed the father and the paternal grandmother. At one LAC meeting, they tried to present a child who had the same relationship with her mother as she did with her father. This was simply not the case and it was at this point that the child's teachers, who were in attendance at the LAC meeting, interrupted the social worker to inform the panel that the child never mentions the father, however, she always speaks about how much she misses her mother. Events like this made no difference to how the social workers treated my sister, in-fact it always made things worse because the social workers were made to look like the liars they really are. In the minutes that were recorded from that particular lAC meeting and handed to the judge as evidence, the teacher's comments were ignored and the false accounts stated by the social worker remained on record. Even after my sister complained and asked for corrections to be made to the report nothing was done. This is perjury, nothing more nothing less. This sort of thing happened on many occasions, one of which caused a doctor to write to the courts to request records to be changed in order to show my sister was not taking medication for ongoing depression. Even that didn't make a difference. The Social Services are a law unto themselves.
Inevitably, the father's name was cleared and my sister has lost any hope of regaining custody of her daughter. The Social Services have made it so no further investigations need to be carried out against my sister, as it was "unintentional". Still, they left enough meat on the bone to allow them to conjure up all manner of thought crimes that my sister could "potentially" commit against the father and her daughter. Now they play with my sister like bullies in a school playground, attempting to gain admission of her guilt in exchange for any possibility to be allowed for my sister to see her daughter. The word "Cruel" does not even come close to what they are doing.
Meanwhile, the father has been granted full custody, although he has already stated he wishes to share custody of his daughter with gran...Quite bizarre. On top of this, Granny and the father have decided to cut off the young child's access to any kind of therapy and/or counseling, claiming that this would single out the child and make her feel uncomfortable amongst her friend. Quite a convenient way to ensure any further accusations don't come to light, IMO. Not that anyone is going to listen to this poor child, who has now been labeled a "liar" and an "attention seeker" by the authorities. All the Social Services need now is an admission of guilt from my sister to assure any future claims are taken as the actions of a broken child who will say anything for attention.
Of course, my sister appealed against the appeal but even her own legal team refused to support or represent her, saying that there wasn't enough evidence for an appeal. Regardless, my sister represented herself and put her appeal to the court. This was rejected and without new evidence coming to light we now have nowhere to turn.
My heart is broken for both my sister and my beautiful niece. My sister is only allowed 1 hour of supervised contact per week. For myself and the rest of my family, we are allowed nothing. I do get to write letters for my sister to read to her and I am hoping for a video call to be allowed in the near future. We are at the mercy of Social Services, a corrupt and evil organisation.
I would advise anyone reading this to never involve themselves with this toxic cabal. Their intentions are to serve the fostering agencies and to maintain a constant need for funding. They lie. They cheat. They openly falsify evidence in a court of law. Unless you have a bottomless pit of money to fund the best legal team you can find, you will lose everything that is dear to you.
All that I can do now is try to educate people and share my experience in the hope that it saves someone else from the same fate.
Please, if you know of a similar story, or you are interested in exposing the CPS, @familyprotection and myself are here to support you. I'm sure that @canadian-coconut would welcome a revival of this community because without it these children and their families will remain to be silenced.
As is customary when writing under the @familyprotection tag, I will be giving back 50% of the post payout to the @familyprotection account. This is done to support the community and allow it to continue.